Predator Protection - outdoor enclosures


New Member
Sep 30, 2018
Location (City and/or State)
Right now my wife and I have four beautiful almost 1 year old Sonoran desert tortoises. They currently live indoors in the tortoise table I built them, but once they get bigger (I'm thinking another ~2 years or so), they will be moved permanently outdoors.

We live just North of Tucson in the Catalina Foothills, right over a desert wash. Our area and property is active with all sorts of predators: coyotes, bobcats, owls, Cooper's hawk, etc.

My concern being so close to all these active predators makes me wonder what sort of precautions I need to take when I do eventually build their outdoor enclosures. Do I need to make the enclosure "predator proof"? And which predators listed would attempt to have a Sonoran desert tortoise snack?

I'm looking forward to making these guys a beautiful little desert oasis that's theirs, but of course I want to make it safe as well. The property is 0.8 acres, so there's a few areas that I could potentially place them. Knowing what predator precautions I need to take will certainly aid in my decision to where to house them outdoors.

Yvonne G

Old Timer
TFO Admin
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Jan 23, 2008
Location (City and/or State)
Clovis, CA
You can line the outside of their fence with hot wire. Make the fence tall enough that the predator can't jump over, but has to climb, that way he contacts the wire. I've tried a lot of the products made to scare predators away - motion activated sprinklers, tiger/lion urine, etc. and nothing really works. In my case the predator was racoons. I eventually just trapped and relocated the 'coons, but not until I had lost about 5 box turtles to them.