Soon to be new owner

emorgan21

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Mar 26, 2021
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I am going to be getting a 30 year old desert tortoise from my husband's coworker next week. They are moving to Idaho so need a new home for it. It is currently hibernating so I feel sort of bad that it will be coming out of hibernation in a new home. Any tips for what to do when it comes out of hibernation and helping it to adjust to a new home. We are in San Diego, CA and it has lived for 30 years in their backyard without any sort of shelter. I am planning to make a shelter for it (trying to decide if I want to make a cinder block burrow or make one of the above-ground tortoise houses). We have grass and lots of plants in the backyard, including dandelions which I will stop pulling out. I have looked at the care sheets on this site so basically am just looking for help with what to do when it comes out of hibernation and how to help it to adjust to new surroundings. Any other tips would be appreciated too. :)

Elizabeth
 

Jan A

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I am going to be getting a 30 year old desert tortoise from my husband's coworker next week. They are moving to Idaho so need a new home for it. It is currently hibernating so I feel sort of bad that it will be coming out of hibernation in a new home. Any tips for what to do when it comes out of hibernation and helping it to adjust to a new home. We are in San Diego, CA and it has lived for 30 years in their backyard without any sort of shelter. I am planning to make a shelter for it (trying to decide if I want to make a cinder block burrow or make one of the above-ground tortoise houses). We have grass and lots of plants in the backyard, including dandelions which I will stop pulling out. I have looked at the care sheets on this site so basically am just looking for help with what to do when it comes out of hibernation and how to help it to adjust to new surroundings. Any other tips would be appreciated too. :)

Elizabeth
 

Tom

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I am going to be getting a 30 year old desert tortoise from my husband's coworker next week. They are moving to Idaho so need a new home for it. It is currently hibernating so I feel sort of bad that it will be coming out of hibernation in a new home. Any tips for what to do when it comes out of hibernation and helping it to adjust to a new home. We are in San Diego, CA and it has lived for 30 years in their backyard without any sort of shelter. I am planning to make a shelter for it (trying to decide if I want to make a cinder block burrow or make one of the above-ground tortoise houses). We have grass and lots of plants in the backyard, including dandelions which I will stop pulling out. I have looked at the care sheets on this site so basically am just looking for help with what to do when it comes out of hibernation and how to help it to adjust to new surroundings. Any other tips would be appreciated too. :)

Elizabeth
Hello! Welcome and congrats.

Most of the care info you find for this species is wrong. Its been wrong for decades and the people promoting it don't realize it.

Here is the correct care info:

If you scroll down to post number 19 of this thread, there is all the hibernation info on how to get them into hibernation and out. Its extremely useful and beneficial to have a box where you can control and adjust the temperature. Hydration is key.
 

Ink

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How exciting. Please post pictures of your tortoise 🐢 when he or she arrives. Enjoy
 

Yvonne G

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Give him a nice soak in warm water for about 15 minutes, then just leave him alone and let him explore his new territory. He'll be active at first and then once he realizes he can't get back to his original territory he'll sulk for a week or two. But once he accepts he's in a safe place he'll start to act like a tortoise again.

It has been my experience that if you provide him a cool place in summer and a winter place where he won't freeze, he probably won't dig a burrow. My desert tortoises have a cinderblock house under the shade of a mulberry tree.
 

Lokkje

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I live in Phoenix so it’s a good bit warmer but I don’t build houses or enclosures anymore. The tortoises invariably either go under a tree hole somewhere or they come up onto my patio no matter what I build. All of mine have already come out of brumation. Pretty much for the first day all I see is them drinking as Tiny is doing in the pic. I totally agree that a nice warm soak to start off would be great and then some food that they’re fairly familiar with. I’ve moved a couple of times with my tortoises and as soon as they figure out where the food and water is they don’t seem to be too upset.
 

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Lokkje

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And here we are 10 minutes later and guess what tiny is doing. Yep, he still drinking.
 

emorgan21

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Mar 26, 2021
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San Diego
Thank you all for your replies. Unfortunately, the current owner just informed us the tortoise passed away. :-( I appreciate your help. I think I will keep perusing these threads and may get a tortoise from another source in the future.
 

Ink

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I am so sorry. Maybe someone on the forum can help you find a tortoise.
 
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