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Searches for home

Discussion in 'General Tortoise Discussion' started by jc2972, Jun 23, 2015.

  1. jc2972

    jc2972 New Member

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    We read somewhere that a tortoise will always search for his original home??? Is this true we were wondering if that is why he keeps trying to climb out???
  2. wellington

    wellington Well-Known Member Moderator Today is my birthday! 5 Year Member

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    I have always known/heard of this. Not sure if it's a proven fact or not though. However, with the way sea turtles always go back to their birth place, as do many wild animals, I would safely assume it to be true, at least to a point. However, your tort is always trying to get out, because in the wild, they have no boundaries. If they have a very large enclosure, I think most will stop trying, at least my leopards and one russian don't try to get out.
    Take that back, my male leopard does try to get out, but only because he wants in the females side.
    Angel Carrion and Tidgy's Dad like this.
  3. Tidgy's Dad

    Tidgy's Dad Well-Known Member

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    When Tidgy's on my terrace, out in the garden, or on my floor in the house (I know, I know, but only when i'm with her), when she's had enough she will head back to her enclosure, directly, or to the nearest door, so i'll pick her up and put her back 'home', her territory.
    She explores, of course, but never tries to go too far from what she considers her place.
    I've also heard many stories of lost tortoises returning 'home', sometimes after months of wandering, and this means their adopted home, not their place or region of birth.
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  4. jc2972

    jc2972 New Member

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    Thank y'all so much!!! He is a new pet for us so I was thinking he would stop when he got used to his environment!! It is a bigger enclosure
  5. jc2972

    jc2972 New Member

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    Another question I have is he hasn't been eating well since we got him... Is this normal in. New environment???
  6. Tidgy's Dad

    Tidgy's Dad Well-Known Member

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    Often when a tortoise goes to a new home, it may, or may not, eat very well on the first day and then nothing for quite a while while it adjusts and realizes there is nothing here to harm it, no other tortoise to bully it and this is now it's territory. it's perfectly normal for at least a few days, sometimes more.
    How long have you had him?
    Oh, and a very warm welcome to Tortoise Forum.
    Sorry, forgot earlier.
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  7. jc2972

    jc2972 New Member

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    Only for a few days. He seems to be liking his habitat and isn't shy when we hold him he just hasn't been eating well
  8. WillTort2

    WillTort2 Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    What are you feeding him?
  9. Cowboy_Ken

    Cowboy_Ken Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    And what are your temps?
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  10. ZEROPILOT

    ZEROPILOT Well-Known Member TFO Supporter Platinum Supporter

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    I had a tortoise escape on me. My wife and I scoured the whole back yard on hands and knees for two days and then gave up.
    On the third day, I found him breaking back in to his pen for some food.
    There is some kind of homing instinct going on.
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  11. Gillian M

    Gillian M Well-Known Member

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    A very warm welcome to the forum.

    As Adam mentioned, tortoises do take time and a lot of time to adjust to a new environment, new climate, new OWNER and the rest. So don't worry if it doesn't eat for some time. It will settle down eventually and eat. Good luck.
  12. ZEROPILOT

    ZEROPILOT Well-Known Member TFO Supporter Platinum Supporter

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    They can't correctly process food unless the temps are 80 degrees and over.
    There are also certain types of lights that can cause stress. What lights are you using?
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  13. johnsonnboswell

    johnsonnboswell Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    It may be normal, or it may be a reaction to the situation which doesn't suit its needs. That's why we need to know how you're keeping it.

    Mine try to climb out when they're hungry. Not eating can be due to temps too high or too low, wrong lights, or other things.
  14. JoesMum

    JoesMum Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    If you post some pictures of your tort and their enclosure we might spot something that will help :) (We like pics anyway!)
  15. jc2972

    jc2972 New Member

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    We feed him spring mix with a supplement and the temps under the heat lamp are about 79-85 degrees and not under the heat lamp is about 75....

    As far as the lights go they are zoo med the heat lamp is 75 watts.

    ImageUploadedByTortoise Forum1435148474.456995.jpg

    This is kind of a bad pic bc it makes the enclosure look small but it isn't... It is about the size of half a dinning room table.
  16. Tom

    Tom The Dog Trainer 5 Year Member

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    That enclosure is a cement mixing tub from the hard ware store, right? Too small. They need something around 4x8' as a minimum for indoors. Even larger outdoors. They also need a humid hide and your basking temp should be a little warmer directly under the bulb.

    Check these out:
    http://www.tortoiseforum.org/threads/russian-tortoise-care-sheet.80698/
    http://www.tortoiseforum.org/threads/beginner-mistakes.45180/


    When removed from their "home" and placed in foreign territory, yes it does freak them out for a while. Eventually the new place becomes "home" and they settle in. Same thing happens to people.
  17. jc2972

    jc2972 New Member

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    It is the size of our table that seats 4. And he is still small.... Does he need more room right now or just as he grows
  18. Yvonne G

    Yvonne G Old Timer TFO Admin 10 Year Member! Platinum Supporter

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    One problem MIGHT be the food dish. Tortoises can't bend because of their hard shell, and can only reach into a dish with their neck. He can't move his neck up, over then down to get it into that dish. Try feeding him on a flat piece of rock or tile. (and I agree that the cement mixing tub is too small).

    Can you set this Russian tortoise up outside in a safe and secure habitat? That's where they thrive.
  19. Tom

    Tom The Dog Trainer 5 Year Member

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    Don't measure by the outside upper rim. Measure the floor space down where the tortoise is. Its probably around 22x34", right? That would be okay floor space for a baby, but yours is an adult. He's only going to grow another inch or two. Russians are a very active species and they need some room to move about the cabin, so to speak. Three of those tubs side by side would still be on the small side. Imagine a sheet of plywood... Now we're talkin'.
  20. Tom

    Tom The Dog Trainer 5 Year Member

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    Yvonne is right on both counts, as usual.

    I like to use terra cotta plant saucers sunk into the substrate for food and water.


    Look in the enclosure section for all sorts of ideas on how to make a large, safe outdoor enclosure for your new tortoise.
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