Should I separate my tortoises?

Melissa101

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I've had my two spur thighed tortoises for over ten years, and they've always been kept together. Today I noticed the male mounting and biting the female (I've posted a few questions in the breeding section of the forums about this).

Should I separate them? Is the male likely to pester the female if they stay living together? This is the first I've seen him do this, but I imagine it's not going to be a one off! I know tortoises and other reptiles aren't the same as cats and dogs, but I've got this big worry that if I split them up they'll really miss each other! Plus it means buying another enclosure. I'll do it if necessary because obviously I want them to be happy, but I wasn't sure if people kept males and females together happily?

I hadn't thought about breeding until now, as up until recently I'd been categorically told they were both female!
 

Jodie

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Tortoises are solitary, and territorial. They are happiest alone. I would definitely recommend separating them. Stress and fighting can both lead to death.
 

Tom

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Mounting doesn't mean its a male and female. Females will also mount males or other females as a sign of dominance and a way of telling them "get out of MY territory...".

Tortoises should not be kept in pairs. You should separate them.
 

dmmj

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Yes. Males have mated females to death. Gouging huge grooves in the shell killing them. They just do better aparf. Ni need to treat the female that way
 

Melissa101

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Wow, ok, looks like I was seriously misinformed about how to keep my tortoises from the breeder! Thanks, I'll split them up.
 

Melissa101

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Can they spend time together occasionally? Like when they go outside? It's a large enclosure outside. Or keep them apart permanently?
 

Tom

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Wow, ok, looks like I was seriously misinformed about how to keep my tortoises from the breeder! Thanks, I'll split them up.

This is common.

Many breeders keep them in groups. This can work, but it doesn't always. Pairs are totally different than groups.
 

Tom

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Can they spend time together occasionally? Like when they go outside? It's a large enclosure outside. Or keep them apart permanently?

I would first verify the sexes. If they are the same sex, then there is no benefit and only risk of harm putting them together. They don't WANT to be together. If its a male and female you can put them together once in a while for breeding purposes if you want babies. Just supervise the visits and make sure neither gets too rough with the other. Breeding can be a pretty rough time for the female, or if its a bigger female that is not receptive, the male can get pretty beat up.
 

Melissa101

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Thanks so much, I think I'm just worrying too much about them being 'lonely' when I've found out recently that they don't actually need to be with others! Definitely had so much misinformation, making me quite cross actually!
 

Careym13

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Thanks so much, I think I'm just worrying too much about them being 'lonely' when I've found out recently that they don't actually need to be with others! Definitely had so much misinformation, making me quite cross actually!

I recently separated my two Leopards who aren't even a year old. They are much happier apart.
 

Gillian M

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I too, like the members who answered you, would advice to separate them ASAP, so as to avoid bullying. And as mentioned: torts LOVE LONLINESS: they are not in need of company; unlike other pets. They don't even like to be picked up or cuddled.

And a very warm welcome to the forum.
 

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