She is bullying him

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shelloise

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Boris and doris are now in separate enclosures. I had read about males bullying females but not the other way around. They are young adults I was told, around 11 with the male a bit younger. The person I had bought them from said they had always been together with out any bullying. They seemed ok and then I saw doris follow him and then try to bite his legs. If he is eating he will leave if she comes to eat as well. I thought it was males that are supposed to be aggressive not females? He is 4 inches and she is 6 but I can't see his size being able to breed her anyway even if you could just put them together to breed, which wasn't the main intention to having them. I bought them together as I was told they are fine together. breeding would have been a bonus but not a big deal.
do you think her behavior changed because the home was changed or do you think she just didn't see him being bullied?
 

wellington

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Most likely the reason is because that's just the way it usually will end up. No matter how well they get along today, tomorrow could be a whole different story. That's why a lot of the long time tort keepers always try to stress the separating of them. It usually will happen at some point, just lucky you seen it before real damage was done.
 

Jacqui

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Some females are just more aggressive all the time. Some times it's them trying to tempt the male into breeding. Some times it will be more a seasonal aggression, some times not.
 

lovelyrosepetal

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That stinks. Maybe in time your Boris will catch up in size and then can breed, when big enough, if you want to try it but I am sorry that this behavior is going on. It seems like the only thing you can do is separate them for now and reintroduce them at a later date, if you want, and see if the behavior has stopped. I doubt it will help but I have heard that sometimes separation and then reintroduction can work. Good luck and good job on spotting it asap.
 

lynnedit

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If you have steppe tortoises that do well together, you are lucky. Sometimes adding a third or fourth one (female) can help diffuse things. I wonder if the previous owner actually paid attention. Or, it is possible that as their care has improved, their health improved enough for them to have the energy to be territorial (the female, that is).

So it can vary tort to tort, but you are right to separate them, especially if the male's access to food is affected.
 

Tom

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lynnedit said:
If you have steppe tortoises that do well together, you are lucky. Sometimes adding a third or fourth one (female) can help diffuse things. I wonder if the previous owner actually paid attention. Or, it is possible that as their care has improved, their health improved enough for them to have the energy to be territorial (the female, that is).

So it can vary tort to tort, but you are right to separate them, especially if the male's access to food is affected.

I agree wholeheartedly with ALL of this. Very well stated. I'm always surprised to hear that anyone is housing two Russians of any age together. I'm always skeptical about just how "peaceful" it really is. It is almost always a temporary "cease fire", and all out battle is usually soon to come.

It's just how they are...
 

stinax182

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yes, separate them. i got 2 Russians that had lived together in a rubbermaid tub for 5 years supposedly fine. i recently had the same problem and they too became aggressive. it's inevitable i suppose. good that no one got hurt.
 
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