Rain and Natural Burrows

Abdulla6169

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I'd suggest using those garages you can get from places like Carrefour:
https://www.carrefouruae.com/webstore/Product.aspx?productid=8743&ref=bkam.com
Then add a heater to it and try putting the garage on his old burrow... I think that would work well, it costs money. Here it'll cost $2150, without heating :/ think it'll work?
Edit: maybe you can cover the door to that garage, and make it fit your Tank... Less water will go in, hope I was helpful :)
 

ascott

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I can appreciate his tenacity for digging....the objective is not to stop him from digging...but rather to offer a place more suitable for the tort, confined in captivity.... in the wild he would have acres and acres of land and terrain to choose from--also, he would have been born into a desirable area to begin with....so yes, we try our best to offer the most freedom within our captive spaces....but the entire captive space in itself may be an undesirable start....so we need to modify what we have to best suit the captive animals life--while supporting a space in which they can safely perform the behaviors that are natural to them....here is where you have to decide what needs to be done--here is where you will need to do the work to establish a place that is as safe as possible for the tort in your care to do what a tort would do...naturally.

I understand the drive to dig (I have four adult male CDTs here, while small in stature compared to the species in your care, no less tenacious of diggers)....I also understand that if we are going to get days and days of rain--all of them are coming indoors at a certain point, because the captive area they are free to do their natural thing in---is not their natural range and they did not have natural setting to select from, so the space has its shortcomings....

Here is where your brain power and the tortoise tenacity will come horn to horn.....you will have to do what is necessary, and perhaps a dozen or more times, to offer the safest situation and place for the tort to also think there is a more desirable location for his natural behavior....

I wish you luck, but you can clearly see that the current plan did not work out well....also, if for some reason the tort continues to dig towards that pool, creates an open--weak section behind that pool wall and it fails--the tort is going to be wiped out, as well as I bet the relationship between you and the pool neighbor will take on a new form... :p
 

Tank'sMom

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Ha ha! Believe me, when he started digging towards the pool, I freaked out! But then he turned to the right and now his entire burrow, which he stopped excavating months ago, is covered by a concrete slab and curves around toward the fence line.
It actually worked out quite well in terms of a "spot" for him. My property used to be a trailer park 20 years ago. So he's dug up all kinds of things. And run into pipes and wires and sprinkler systems....
If he's going to have a burrow, the spot he currently has is just fine as long as he does not continue any father along. He seems to be comfortable with the spaces he's created and stopped excavating months ago.
Now, the only issue is removing the debris from the collapsed overhang. Aside from that, I am more comfortable with him maintaining his current burrow as I would think that the concrete "ceiling" would offer some protection? And I know that he has settled into a spot free from pipes and wires and heavy roots (aside from those pictured at the entrance).
Would that not be a good idea?
This is my first experience with a large Sulcata burrow. He tried many, many, many other spots that we had to stop him from confusing for various reasons. This one we decided is the most suitable spot in the yard that he has chosen thus far... once he turned away from the pool! Lol. And yes, my neighbors are aware he's down there. I would think that the chance of any kind of collapse under concrete would be less. It's stable and doesn't get wet. Although, if there were any kind of collapse it would be difficult to get him out. The one end of the tunnel goes around and under the fence line. If we had to, we could dig him out from there?
What do you guys think?
 

Abdulla6169

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Sulcatas are strong, I think they can dig their way out. I think @Tom, said that once? But I'm sure that's in dry conditions, slippery mud would make it harder but he may escape that burrow... Drowning is the scariest thing that could happen. Would the garage Idea work with very bright lights and warm temperatures? He might start preferring it over being in the rain, and when spring/summer starts can you disassemble it? Sounds theoretical, and expensive.
 

Tank'sMom

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Sulcatas are strong, I think they can dig their way out. I think @Tom, said that once? But I'm sure that's in dry conditions, slippery mud would make it harder but he may escape that burrow... Drowning is the scariest thing that could happen. Would the garage Idea work with very bright lights and warm temperatures? He might start preferring it over being in the rain, and when spring/summer starts can you disassemble it? Sounds theoretical, and expensive.
I could certainly try the garage thing. But it won't stop him from digging. I've tried everything. To stop him. Nothing works. The little "house" that sits above the burrow? That was intended to be a house for him but he never used it. He even slept outside in a corner (before he had the burrow) rather than go into the house. He's extremely stubborn!
For winter, my husband has a plan to hook that tank (next to Tank's house near the burrow?) up and rig into a heater that will blow warm air into the burrow.
Believe me, I WISH all these wonderful ideas would work. I do. I just know from experience with this stubborn Tort that 1) if I fill in his burrow, he's gonna dig another one and it may not be as safe a spot as this one. As I said, my property used to be a trailer park and he runs into all kinds of lines. He even dug up my buried dog once. 2) if I do get any kind of "garage" or nice "house" for him, I'd have to force him into it. I can't force him to do anything or go anywhere on my own (he's technically bigger than me and very, very strong!) and my hubby is out of town a lot.
So I'm stuck. I don't know what to do other than leave him be where he is. Not that I like it....
 

Abdulla6169

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Does food lure him? I'd thought what I suggested may work, but I am stumped now... I'd say maybe garage an area for when it rains, put him inside (somehow?), then wait for the soil to dry. That's what I think could be done. Is there any way you can stop water entering the burrow? Like maybe closing the top and two sides and leaving something like this a transparent shower curtain for an entrance, this can make a small enclosed area around the burrow? Think you can use some trick to make the water move away from the burrow?
 

Tank'sMom

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I can. And I have lured him into a small garage that my husband has just for his "baby" (his car). It's behind his mechanic shop which is next door to our house. Kinda a long walk, but my husband is able to put him into a wheelbarrow. I also have my house garage.
Keeping him contained temporarily is not too big a deal. If a Tropical Storm hit us, or an actual Hurricane came our way, he'd DEFINITELY be put up in there! But I wouldn't want to force him to live in there for more than a few days.
I could block the burrow, also. Put plywood in front of it so he can't get in. At least until the rain stops. That's actually a thought... Not sure where he'd hang out then though. Unless I build him another "house" that he probably won't use. Lol.
And a good idea is to rig some sort of drainage system to keep water out of the burrow! Thanks for that @Abdullali! I just need to figure out how to do it.... Hmmmmm.....
 

Abdulla6169

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I can. And I have lured him into a small garage that my husband has just for his "baby" (his car). It's behind his mechanic shop which is next door to our house. Kinda a long walk, but my husband is able to put him into a wheelbarrow. I also have my house garage.
Keeping him contained temporarily is not too big a deal. If a Tropical Storm hit us, or an actual Hurricane came our way, he'd DEFINITELY be put up in there! But I wouldn't want to force him to live in there for more than a few days.
I could block the burrow, also. Put plywood in front of it so he can't get in. At least until the rain stops. That's actually a thought... Not sure where he'd hang out then though. Unless I build him another "house" that he probably won't use. Lol.
And a good idea is to rig some sort of drainage system to keep water out of the burrow! Thanks for that @Abdullali! I just need to figure out how to do it.... Hmmmmm.....
Your welcome :) Think you can find an architect that specializes in gardens and landscaping? That would be really helpful!
 

Kirin

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Have you thought about doing a burrow like Tom has done for his sulcatas. It is a box under ground that is heated and is safe. He has done a thread about how to build it. this way to Tank it might be like the real thing but you know that he will be safe.
 

Tank'sMom

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Have you thought about doing a burrow like Tom has done for his sulcatas. It is a box under ground that is heated and is safe. He has done a thread about how to build it. this way to Tank it might be like the real thing but you know that he will be safe.
Oh yes. I have thought about doing one of those. Except, to do one large enough to accommodate Tank would be ALOT of work. It might be worth the "stability" but I believe would still have problems when it comes to heavy rain and pooling water.
With my luck I'd build one, spend a lot of time and money, and he won't use it. He'll still wanna go off and dig his own. Lol.
And Tom also has torts with natural burrows like mine as well.
I'm pretty sure about "stability" now that the overhang has collapsed and the rest is under 4 ft of clay-like dirt with a concrete top. I would think that that would be about as stable as a natural burrow can get?
It's still the flooding I have to worry about. And the mucky, sticky, slippery mess.... :/
Tom's homemade burrows are pretty awesome though! When my smaller Tort gets big enough, I'll build him one! Lol. 8-12" tort is a lot easier to build for that size than a 33 incher!
 

ascott

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I'm pretty sure about "stability" now that the overhang has collapsed and the rest is under 4 ft of clay-like dirt with a concrete top. I would think that that would be about as stable as a natural burrow can get?

You are the one that is there and can get down there and really look at the situation.....if you believe it to be sound...then so be it :D
 

Tank'sMom

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It's hard. We are keeping wild animals outside of their natural habitat while they still have the need to perform as they naturally would. It's not an easy decision to make when it comes to things like this. If I only wanted him to be safe, I'd lock him up in the garage. The hard part is allowing him to be. To be himself and be happy and as free as possible. There are consequences to that. I don't think there is a right or wrong way to do this. Everything has pros and cons.
But. Anyone reading this who has a smaller Sulcata, if you can pick it up I'd consider that small, be prepared for what you're gonna be dealing with in a few years!!! Lol.
 

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