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Rescue Russian

jsheffield

Well-Known Member
Tortoise Club
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Sep 29, 2018
Messages
1,593
Location (City and/or State)
Westmoreland, NH
I was checking Craigslist for large reptile enclosures when I found a listing by a guy who had to get rid of his Russian tortoise... in a hurry.

I was a bit leery that there was some variety of scam involved, but I texted him anyway, and he got back in touch within minutes.

86044D62-FD59-4B28-8674-9096708FEE0C-6577-000005054012BFB6.jpg

The guy said that "Smirnoff" was 20 years old and had been living on romaine lettuce in his 15 gallon tote, with a heat lamp and a hot rock... he said that in the summer they went to the beach with a string tired around Smirnoff's leg to keep him from wandering off.

Putting various doubts aside, we back and forthed a bit before he landed on leaving Smirnoff on his front porch, in his tote, for me to come by and get him... no money was mentioned or changed hands.

I headed down this morning, and Smirnoff avidly watched me drive him away from the only home he'd ever known with only a little doubt in his eye.

IMG_1917.jpg

I got home and put my new Russian tortoise, whose name will not be Smirnoff, in an outside enclosure (moved from the spot where Darwin had been using it for some degree of quarantine/isolation) with some weeds and flowers to gnosh on while I set up his inside enclosure.

IMG_1926.jpg

The netting kept him nicely shaded on a sunny day, and when I came back to get him he seemed to be enjoying a light drizzle.

I gave him a warm-water soak and some food and gave him an overall examination:
1) his beak is a bit overgrown, but not so much he can't eat
2) he's lived dry and it shows
3) his diet has been lacking in quality and variety
4) he seems to enjoy the increased space in his newfound life, both inside and out
5) he's got a little round bump on the tip of his tail
6) he weighs 476g, and is 134mm

I've read the TFO caresheets on Russians, and hope he'll like his new home....

Jamie
 

dmilam

Active Member
Joined
Jul 27, 2019
Messages
120
Location (City and/or State)
North Texas
Can’t see the pics but it sounds like he’s lucky to have been abandoned... glad you have him, sounds like he hit the jackpot...
 

g4mobile

Active Member
Tortoise Club
Joined
Sep 5, 2018
Messages
87
Location (City and/or State)
Fort Lauderdale, FL
I was checking Craigslist for large reptile enclosures when I found a listing by a guy who had to get rid of his Russian tortoise... in a hurry.

I was a bit leery that there was some variety of scam involved, but I texted him anyway, and he got back in touch within minutes.

View attachment 278064

The guy said that "Smirnoff" was 20 years old and had been living on romaine lettuce in his 15 gallon tote, with a heat lamp and a hot rock... he said that in the summer they went to the beach with a string tired around Smirnoff's leg to keep him from wandering off.

Putting various doubts aside, we back and forthed a bit before he landed on leaving Smirnoff on his front porch, in his tote, for me to come by and get him... no money was mentioned or changed hands.

I headed down this morning, and Smirnoff avidly watched me drive him away from the only home he'd ever known with only a little doubt in his eye.

View attachment 278065

I got home and put my new Russian tortoise, whose name will not be Smirnoff, in an outside enclosure (moved from the spot where Darwin had been using it for some degree of quarantine/isolation) with some weeds and flowers to gnosh on while I set up his inside enclosure.

View attachment 278066

The netting kept him nicely shaded on a sunny day, and when I came back to get him he seemed to be enjoying a light drizzle.

I gave him a warm-water soak and some food and gave him an overall examination:
1) his beak is a bit overgrown, but not so much he can't eat
2) he's lived dry and it shows
3) his diet has been lacking in quality and variety
4) he seems to enjoy the increased space in his newfound life, both inside and out
5) he's got a little round bump on the tip of his tail
6) he weighs 476g, and is 134mm

I've read the TFO caresheets on Russians, and hope he'll like his new home....

Jamie
That’s a wonderful story and so glad you are willing to give him a good home. Look forward to updates!
 

jsheffield

Well-Known Member
Tortoise Club
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Sep 29, 2018
Messages
1,593
Location (City and/or State)
Westmoreland, NH
It's interesting noting the differences between my redfoot and the Russian... activity inside, activity outside, diet, shyness, behavior while soaking, the hours they keep, etc.
 

jsheffield

Well-Known Member
Tortoise Club
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Sep 29, 2018
Messages
1,593
Location (City and/or State)
Westmoreland, NH
If he does, he's keeping it to himself.

He had been getting slightly less FaceTime with me the last few days as I've been lavishing attention on Chili, mostly hydrating and trying to get him eating good foods.

Chili gave me a scare yesterday while in the outside enclosure... he cut out a section of turf and hid under it, enjoying the mud for a bit; when I came out to check on them both I initially couldn't find Chili.

Darwin doesn't dig at all, mostly he stomps over to the food dish, eats whatever's there, and finds a spot against the wall to sleep.

Chili likes to explore the perimeter, nibbles on some lawn in favor of the food in the bowl, and jams his nose into the ground a lot.

Jamie
 

RosemaryDW

Well-Known Member
Tortoise Club
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Feb 17, 2016
Messages
3,286
Location (City and/or State)
Newport Coast, CA
Russians like some low ground cover, super low.

Ours dug down under the iris for the billionth time today; couldn’t find her for several minutes, despite knowing fully where she was.
 

Mo & Bolt

Member
Joined
Aug 25, 2018
Messages
56
Location (City and/or State)
Uk
I extended and separated. My fighting torts enclosure but the attacker still bashed at the fence, and the victim still refused to eat and carried on trying to escape.
So I found a new home for one of them. Both happy now
 

jsheffield

Well-Known Member
Tortoise Club
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Sep 29, 2018
Messages
1,593
Location (City and/or State)
Westmoreland, NH
468g, 13.4cm, enjoying some time outside, working his way through a pile of hibiscus blooms.

J
 

jsheffield

Well-Known Member
Tortoise Club
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Sep 29, 2018
Messages
1,593
Location (City and/or State)
Westmoreland, NH
I've been feeding Chili, my Russian, mostly grasses and weeds and hibiscus, with some tort-kibble mixed in with it so far... Would he also benefit from the occasional addition of squash or sweet potato?
 

jsheffield

Well-Known Member
Tortoise Club
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Sep 29, 2018
Messages
1,593
Location (City and/or State)
Westmoreland, NH
I've been feeding Chili, my Russian, mostly grasses and weeds and hibiscus, with some tort-kibble mixed in with it so far... Would he also benefit from the occasional addition of squash or sweet potato?
I'm also wondering about what temps he can handle for outside days... I've been assuming he can handle cooler days (and/or earlier mornings) than my redfoot, down into the 60s on sunny or non-windy days.

Any input would be appreciated.

Jamie
 
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