Pulling a 35lb sulcata out of a burrow

ryan57

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I know first hand now that it is not a fun time. More like a wrestling match with your tortoise.

It was mid 80's today and Stump got hot so I let him go to his burrow. He dug for 3 or 4 hours until 6:15 PM. Becoming concerned, when I reached down to try to get him he 1) smashed my fingers against the dirt sides, 2) stomped on my fingers with his rear legs, 2) Grunted the whole time, 3) Violently thrashed from side to side to do the most damage to me it seemed, 4) stood up as high as he could smashing his carapace into the top of the dirt to hold his position, 5) stood up and smashed by arm against the dirt top when I reached above him near his head.

Then I got the shovel and removed some dirt below him very carefully so he could not use his carapace to hold him in place. He was NOT happy when I got him out and put him in his pool for a rinse off.

After the pool during his soak he was obviously irked with me and after we came downstairs he turned his back to me (which he has never done), refused food for a snack and went to his bed. Apparently he had different plans for camping this evening that I ruined.

I can't even imagine what it would be like to wrestle with a 200lb animal in a tight space that you have to pull upward against gravity and their very powerful arms. You would need a front loader or back hoe.

If he is facing me I can no doubt get him to come out by offering a treat. If the rear is facing you how to you folks get them out?
 

Chefdenoel10

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I know first hand now that it is not a fun time. More like a wrestling match with your tortoise.

It was mid 80's today and Stump got hot so I let him go to his burrow. He dug for 3 or 4 hours until 6:15 PM. Becoming concerned, when I reached down to try to get him he 1) smashed my fingers against the dirt sides, 2) stomped on my fingers with his rear legs, 2) Grunted the whole time, 3) Violently thrashed from side to side to do the most damage to me it seemed, 4) stood up as high as he could smashing his carapace into the top of the dirt to hold his position, 5) stood up and smashed by arm against the dirt top when I reached above him near his head.

Then I got the shovel and removed some dirt below him very carefully so he could not use his carapace to hold him in place. He was NOT happy when I got him out and put him in his pool for a rinse off.

After the pool during his soak he was obviously irked with me and after we came downstairs he turned his back to me (which he has never done), refused food for a snack and went to his bed. Apparently he had different plans for camping this evening that I ruined.

I can't even imagine what it would be like to wrestle with a 200lb animal in a tight space that you have to pull upward against gravity and their very powerful arms. You would need a front loader or back hoe.

If he is facing me I can no doubt get him to come out by offering a treat. If the rear is facing you how to you folks get them out?

🤭🤭🤭……. Sorry…….🤭🤭🤭🤭🫣🤭🤭🤭🤭🤭…..I’m soo sorry….
🤭🤭🤭🤭🤭🤭🤭🤭🤭🤭…….
Please forgive me……

🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣😂😂😂😂🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣😭😭😭😂🤣😂🤣😂🤣🤣😂🤣🤣😂

Oh God!…. Please I’m so sorry..

Your ooor hands and arms!!!!
🤣😂🤭🤭🤭🤭….

(P.s.- been there done that. And I had that Wrestlemania with my 100lb Sulcata. 🤕)

It twas as if Freddy Krueger was fighting with Edward Scissorhands… still not sure who won. Just glad I am still alive to tell the tale…
 

ryan57

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Location (City and/or State)
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🤭🤭🤭……. Sorry…….🤭🤭🤭🤭🫣🤭🤭🤭🤭🤭…..I’m soo sorry….
🤭🤭🤭🤭🤭🤭🤭🤭🤭🤭…….
Please forgive me……

🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣😂😂😂😂🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣😭😭😭😂🤣😂🤣😂🤣🤣😂🤣🤣😂

Oh God!…. Please I’m so sorry..

Your ooor hands and arms!!!!
🤣😂🤭🤭🤭🤭….

(P.s.- been there done that. And I had that Wrestlemania with my 100lb Sulcata. 🤕)

It twas as if Freddy Krueger was fighting with Edward Scissorhands… still not sure who won. Just glad I am still alive to tell the tale…
So you're answering my question. It's always a wrestlemania... just what I was fearing. I know that the temperature would have been fine for me to leave him there for the night but I just couldn't. I figured that I'd have some time to adjust to him staying outside but Stump is now approaching 40lbs and could be 45+ at 3 years old. It happened SOOO fast.
 

Tom

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You aren't getting a larger sulcata out of a burrow if it doesn't want to come out. They are built to not be pulled out.

Stick a hose down here and flood the burrow. They will slowly but surely rise to the top and either walk out, or you can them pull them the rest of the way. This won't work if they are too cold. It has never failed me, and I've never drowned one.

The only other way is to fully dig them out.
 

ryan57

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The main problem is i think that even if you give him a heated house outside, he will stick to the burrow even if its cold for him no? :D
Yes. It seems that he has claimed that spot for now. I measured the temps as you asked and suggested. When I pulled him out he was 83 degrees and the ground temperature at that depth was 72 degrees. He would have stayed there all night.

I'm going to build something temporary over it now and post photos.
 

Tom

The Dog Trainer
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Messages
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Location (City and/or State)
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Yes. It seems that he has claimed that spot for now. I measured the temps as you asked and suggested. When I pulled him out he was 83 degrees and the ground temperature at that depth was 72 degrees. He would have stayed there all night.

I'm going to build something temporary over it now and post photos.
I just lay a sheet of plywood over the burrow entrance in fall and make them start using their heated houses for winter. Then, this time of year when things get hot again, I remove the plywood and let them use their burrows over summer again. The tricky part is catching them above ground in fall on a warm day before the weather turns cold. Usually late October or early November here.
 

Chefdenoel10

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So you're answering my question. It's always a wrestlemania... just what I was fearing. I know that the temperature would have been fine for me to leave him there for the night but I just couldn't. I figured that I'd have some time to adjust to him staying outside but Stump is now approaching 40lbs and could be 45+ at 3 years old. It happened SOOO fast.
Yes sir,
These beasts have a mind of their own.
Usually they say to themselves :
“Ok, let this tall human thing feed me and bathe me (I like the bathing!) let them talk to me and think they are soooo wonderful for taking such good care of me.

But they can certainly p**s off
if I’m comfortable or sleeping 😴 or just want to be left alone.! Thanks but no thanks.
I’ll take my own chances thank you very much!
And if you even trryyyyy to move me??…
I promise I’ll be all DEAD WEIGHT!
Let’s just see HOW tough you THINK you are buddy! 😏

Now here’s me and you Ryan…

“Yyyes sir….. yyyeess mam. You’re so cute!
A booshie booshie boo! I looove youuu!
Who wants a baba? (Bottle) 😘

That tort is looking at you like you need medication or something!!!

Next time leave his ….🥐 out there till he is banging at the back door to be let in and cuddled!
He doesn’t know how good he’s got it!
The next time he is outside till late at night you tell him this famous quote I heard at the swap meat….
Lions and tigers AND BEARS….OH MY!!
🤣😂

Lots of luck my dear friend Ryan. ❤️🙏
 

Chefdenoel10

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Tortoise Club
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Yes. It seems that he has claimed that spot for now. I measured the temps as you asked and suggested. When I pulled him out he was 83 degrees and the ground temperature at that depth was 72 degrees. He would have stayed there all night.

I'm going to build something temporary over it now and post photos.
Just a heads up!!
My Sulcata once MOVED my QUEEN SIZED BED!!!
So if you’re gonna put something over the hole…. It better be a CAR! 🚗🏎️🚘🚙🚖
 

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