Russian Tort burrowing during the summer heat

texastort17

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Hello,

I’m trying to find out what may be going on with my tort. She’s always been an outdoor tortoise and was previously with my father—now she’s living in an outdoor enclosure at my house. The enclosure is 8x4 and about 3.5-4ft deep soil. It’s been a bit warmer since it’s August now and we noticed that she burrowed down deep.

We can’t really find her and I have been trying to locate her because someone on a FB group I’m in said that I needed to dig her up right away. I’m very worried and I don’t want to panic if maybe they usually dig (my dad said she would sometimes) but it’s been about 2 days now. I’m not sure what to do because she hadn’t done this at our house before.

Thank you for any advice.
 

wellington

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Yes they do dig in some and will if they get too hot
As long as you know she is dug in and didn't dig out there is no big concern.
Try cooling the area. Spray water on the enclosure to cool it down and add humidity. Does she have enough shaded areas
Post a pic of the enclosure.
 

Sarah2020

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They like to cave / burrow. I had a Russian that burrowed so deep only the top scute was visable. They move their head around for an air hole so it should be ok. Once I had to gently rake as I could not locate it so it's normal. Sometimes it is because it is nice , damp and cool other reasons can be if there are other tortoises it is hiding due to bully behaviour. Have a read of this Care sheet and check your set up and settings and ensure fresh leaves, weeds and flowers are provided daily and water 24 x7 changed am and pm so it is fresh.
 

Wishbone

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My young Hermann burroughs out of sight. I wake him every 2 or 3 days to eat, soak, and exercise. After a couple hours he borroughs back down and repeat.
 

texastort17

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My young Hermann burroughs out of sight. I wake him every 2 or 3 days to eat, soak, and exercise. After a couple hours he borroughs back down and repeat.
I would do the same but I can’t find her anywhere!
 

texastort17

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Yes they do dig in some and will if they get too hot
As long as you know she is dug in and didn't dig out there is no big concern.
Try cooling the area. Spray water on the enclosure to cool it down and add humidity. Does she have enough shaded areas
Post a pic of the enclosure.
I know that she dug into the enclosure but hasn’t been able to dig out as it’s made of thick wood and has stone at the very bottom of the 4ft of soil to prevent it. I did just go and spray down the soil to try and get her to come up but she didn’t. She has two hides but she wasn’t in either of them when I’d looked last.
 

wellington

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I know that she dug into the enclosure but hasn’t been able to dig out as it’s made of thick wood and has stone at the very bottom of the 4ft of soil to prevent it. I did just go and spray down the soil to try and get her to come up but she didn’t. She has two hides but she wasn’t in either of them when I’d looked last.
If you truly think she might not be able to get out, then I would go in after her.
 

Tortoise Rescue Brenda

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Pflugerville, Texas
Hello,

I’m trying to find out what may be going on with my tort. She’s always been an outdoor tortoise and was previously with my father—now she’s living in an outdoor enclosure at my house. The enclosure is 8x4 and about 3.5-4ft deep soil. It’s been a bit warmer since it’s August now and we noticed that she burrowed down deep.

We can’t really find her and I have been trying to locate her because someone on a FB group I’m in said that I needed to dig her up right away. I’m very worried and I don’t want to panic if maybe they usually dig (my dad said she would sometimes) but it’s been about 2 days now. I’m not sure what to do because she hadn’t done this at our house before.

Thank you for any advice.
Hi, I'm in central Texas with a tortoise rescue. It will help keep him cool and damp if you spray down the habitat in the morning, just hand water. Put extra water in the hides to dampen and cool off the dirt. In this heat and drought we have to provide extra water. You can also feed extra cactus and cucumbers to help them take in more water.

Brenda
 

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