marbalboy

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Joined
Oct 20, 2023
Messages
32
Location (City and/or State)
Las Vegas NV
I had to emergency rescue this tort from an awful living condition arrangement, but as a new tort owner….yeah.

I do not think this hatchling looks healthy. What is wrong with it ? The shell….

It is behaving fairly normally, is very curious, and eats a little (although mostly from my hand).

Now, it’s only 4:00 pm and he’s just outside his hide in the corner of the cool part, not where he normally sleeps.

I don’t think his eyes look particularly bright either. Currently 86f in the hot part, 78 in the cooler part.

He was found in a neighborhood in Las Vegas near the outskirts, so could very well be desert tortoise.

Please help. Ask me questions. Anything. :(
 

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TechnoCheese

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Welcome to the forum!
That does indeed look to be a desert tortoise. I am not from the area, but they are heavily protected so you may need to reach out to a rescue organization. I'm sure that people who are more knowledgeable about this species will be here soon to help.
 

marbalboy

Member
Joined
Oct 20, 2023
Messages
32
Location (City and/or State)
Las Vegas NV
Welcome to the forum!
That does indeed look to be a desert tortoise. I am not from the area, but they are heavily protected so you may need to reach out to a rescue organization. I'm sure that people who are more knowledgeable about this species will be here soon to help.
Yes, my friend initially called me because I am a biologist for the BLM, however I’m a botanist. It’s the weekend though so I need outside help. They are very very protected though :)
 

wellington

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Remove the moss and that water dish. Moss can cause impaction and the dish is a drowning hazard.
Get a clay saucer for the water and orchid bark for the substrate.
Temps should be 95-100 basking under an incandescent flood bulb, tube fluorescent for uvb or outside time several times a week for natural uvb and ceramic heat emitter for night heat
@Tom @Yvonne G
 

marbalboy

Member
Joined
Oct 20, 2023
Messages
32
Location (City and/or State)
Las Vegas NV
I had to emergency rescue this tort from an awful living condition arrangement, but as a new tort owner….yeah.

I do not think this hatchling looks healthy. What is wrong with it ? The shell….

It is behaving fairly normally, is very curious, and eats a little (although mostly from my hand).

Now, it’s only 4:00 pm and he’s just outside his hide in the corner of the cool part, not where he normally sleeps.

I don’t think his eyes look particularly bright either. Currently 86f in the hot part, 78 in the cooler part.

He was found in a neighborhood in Las Vegas near the outskirts, so could very well be desert tortoise.

Please help. Ask me questions. Anything. :(
Made some additions:


Now, it’s only 4:00 pm and he’s just outside his hide in the corner of the cool part, not where he normally sleeps. Not moving much. Why has it randomly adopted this behavior? When it’s ready for bed, it goes inside its hide to the same spot (just in the other side of the log).

I don’t think his eyes look particularly bright either. Currently 86f in the hot part, 78 in the cooler part.

He was found in a neighborhood in Las Vegas near the outskirts, so could very well be desert tortoise.

I am working on the enclosure; I know I need different substrate. If anything you see is of particular striking concern that needs attention straight away please let me know. Perhaps that’s causing the issues? Otherwise, it will be about a day or two until I have it more suitable.
 

TechnoCheese

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Adding on to Barb's comment, if you are currently unable to purchase a terra cotta saucer, some kind of low sided dish or saucer, like a small plate or shallow container lid will work better than the ramp until you're able to get one. Something like what you have the food in would probably work well, or you could use that food dish for water and something else to keep the food on. I'm assuming this enclosure is mostly temporary until you can get in contact with a rescue or some organization that can take it, but here's long term care information for this little guy: https://tortoiseforum.org/threads/the-best-way-to-raise-any-temperate-species-of-tortoise.183131/
 

marbalboy

Member
Joined
Oct 20, 2023
Messages
32
Location (City and/or State)
Las Vegas NV
Remove the moss and that water dish. Moss can cause impaction and the dish is a drowning hazard.
Get a clay saucer for the water and orchid bark for the substrate.
Temps should be 95-100 basking under an incandescent flood bulb, tube fluorescent for uvb or outside time several times a week for natural uvb and ceramic heat emitter for night heat
@Tom @Yvonne G
So there should be heat at night as well? At what temperature should the enclosure be at night, and also max and minimum?

Would it be inappropriate for me to gather substrate from undisturbed desert land outside vegas (so small rocky cobble, pebbles, and some sand) because then I can plant native veg in it?

How deep should the substrate be?

For sleeping at night, How should I construct a small burrow? Should I put Timothy hay inside his half log? Or just orchid bark?
Also I am assuming I should keep it active (like no brumation)? Everything I have looked at has mentioned keeping this hide more humid. Is this still true for desert tort? Would that involve daily misting or different substrate?
 

marbalboy

Member
Joined
Oct 20, 2023
Messages
32
Location (City and/or State)
Las Vegas NV
Adding on to Barb's comment, if you are currently unable to purchase a terra cotta saucer, some kind of low sided dish or saucer, like a small plate or shallow container lid will work better than the ramp until you're able to get one. Something like what you have the food in would probably work well, or you could use that food dish for water and something else to keep the food on. I'm assuming this enclosure is mostly temporary until you can get in contact with a rescue or some organization that can take it, but here's long term care information for this little guy: https://tortoiseforum.org/threads/the-best-way-to-raise-any-temperate-species-of-tortoise.183131/
Thank you! I’ve got a dish I can change that right away. Thank you .
 

wellington

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So there should be heat at night as well? At what temperature should the enclosure be at night, and also max and minimum?

Would it be inappropriate for me to gather substrate from undisturbed desert land outside vegas (so small rocky cobble, pebbles, and some sand) because then I can plant native veg in it?

How deep should the substrate be?

For sleeping at night, How should I construct a small burrow? Should I put Timothy hay inside his half log? Or just orchid bark?
Also I am assuming I should keep it active (like no brumation)? Everything I have looked at has mentioned keeping this hide more humid. Is this still true for desert tort? Would that involve daily misting or different substrate?
No hay either, to drying and molds easily.
Yes, a humid environment. A closed chamber is best for hatchlings and 80% humidity.
You can follow the sulcata care sheet.
 

Alex and the Redfoot

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Aug 21, 2023
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2,338
Location (City and/or State)
Cyprus
On substrate: fine grade orchid bark without additives from gardening shop would be the best option. It could be 3-4 inches thick.

Soil, especially, containing small rocks, pebbles and sand is no-no for tortoises.
If you want to plant something in the enclosure, put it in the pots half-sunken in the substrate (that would save plant from being stomped and chewed as well).
 
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