Still wondering if anybody has any EVIDENCE that Aldabras are solitary animals

lazybfarm

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After being admonished by every " expert "here , for having 2 Aldabras living together, I was wondering if there is any evidence that Aldabras live alone in the wild? I have never seen any Pics of Aldabras in the wild where there was only 1. Can anyone show any evidence that Aldabras are solitary animals , Other than Tom said so ?
Here are my Aldabras just this morning , at @ 5 years old they are weighing in at 98 and 91 lbs. Does it look like they are about to fight ? Fire Away :cool:
 

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lazybfarm

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Inside and outside
 

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Tom

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After being admonished by every " expert "here , for having 2 Aldabras living together, I was wondering if there is any evidence that Aldabras live alone in the wild? I have never seen any Pics of Aldabras in the wild where there was only 1. Can anyone show any evidence that Aldabras are solitary animals , Other than Tom said so ?
Here are my Aldabras just this morning , at @ 5 years old they are weighing in at 98 and 91 lbs. Does it look like they are about to fight ? Fire Away :cool:
Its not about fighting and its not about being solitary. Its about PAIRS. Looking at pretty pictures of groups of Aldabras in the wild has no bearing on this discussion. No one is asserting that they never seen or spend time around other tortoises in the wild. We are asserting that is it not a good practice to house tortoises in PAIRS in captivity.

Your attempt to start a fight over your own ignorance helps no one. You were given good advice, and your tortoises are not special and different than every other tortoise on the planet.
 

lazybfarm

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So again I ask you what is the proof ? The pretty pictures show aldabras living together. Where is the pretty picture of the Aldabra living alone ? Again , all I want is some evidence that them living together is hurting them .You are mighty strong in your belief that I am hurting them in some way. I would think you could show me some proof, other than you can read tortoise minds and you know they feel bullied if they are next to each other. That is just stupid Tom
 

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Ignorance sometimes manifests itself in you thinking you are always right, says the pot to the kettle
 

lazybfarm

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So you are saying that all tortoises on the planet are the same?Another stupid remark . Maybe your own ignorance is showing
 

TammyJ

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As far as I have ever known, tortoises of all species do not naturally live in pairs, so why keep them in pairs in captivity? I would imagine that would be for the owner's convenience, and not the comfort of his animals.
 

ZEROPILOT

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Any agression. Any bullying. Etc will be focused on just one individual in the case of pairs.
It's a situation that is lessened by adding others to the group.
A lot (maybe most?) agression looks completely benign to most people. But decades of experience has proven that this type of stress is very unhealthy for the tortoises.
Most often the real horror stories are when there are two males. But it's not exclusive to them.
 

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So you are saying that all tortoises on the planet are the same?Another stupid remark . Maybe your own ignorance is showing
But maybe it's your ignorance that is showing because you want to keep them together or can't afford not too. If it's seen in every other species, what makes you think the Aldabras are different?
All the pictures of Aldabras, are usually in a group/herd or single. You might be the only one willing to risk their tortoises health so you can house them together.
If you have two females you might be okay housing them together if it's a very large enclosure.
The best way to fix this, is to get a few more.
 

Tom

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Ignorance sometimes manifests itself in you thinking you are always right, says the pot to the kettle
You don't know what you are talking about and are clearly looking for a fight. I'm not taking the bait. Keep keeping tortoises in pairs and you will eventually learn what the rest of us already know, after the damage is done.

Are these your first two tortoises?
 

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Hi @lazybfarm, I have been wondering how that indoor enclosure you built was working out. Your animals are right on track with our three at 5 years of age in terms of weight.

I will differ from the rest of the group and say that I think Aldabras do just fine in pairs. I would even say that they probably benefit from being together. People here who say otherwise have probably never kept them.

I have found that our three are shy and fearful animals that are more confident when they are together. When they explore new areas of their pasture they frequently go with a partner. No, they are not following in an aggressive manner or in an effort to intimidate. They have never once fought. We keep ours with Galapagos which can be quite aggressive and the Aldabras appear completely confused when they are harassed by them. I wouldn't expect them to "speak the same language" but they don't seem to pick up on any cues of aggression. They do not exhibit communal behavior with the Galapagos, only each other.

Not keeping tortoises in pairs is a very good and important rule, but I think that Aldabras are a safe exception to it.
 

wellington

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Hi @lazybfarm, I have been wondering how that indoor enclosure you built was working out. Your animals are right on track with our three at 5 years of age in terms of weight.

I will differ from the rest of the group and say that I think Aldabras do just fine in pairs. I would even say that they probably benefit from being together. People here who say otherwise have probably never kept them.

I have found that our three are shy and fearful animals that are more confident when they are together. When they explore new areas of their pasture they frequently go with a partner. No, they are not following in an aggressive manner or in an effort to intimidate. They have never once fought. We keep ours with Galapagos which can be quite aggressive and the Aldabras appear completely confused when they are harassed by them. I wouldn't expect them to "speak the same language" but they don't seem to pick up on any cues of aggression. They do not exhibit communal behavior with the Galapagos, only each other.

Not keeping tortoises in pairs is a very good and important rule, but I think that Aldabras are a safe exception to it.
Keeping them with Galapagos is not a good thing either! Besides mixing species is not good, the Galapagos will beat up your Aldabras who have a much calmer personality.
 

KarenSoCal

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Not everything is exposed on the internet! Remember that when you think some people have no experience!!!
I'll never forget a few years ago we had a 16 year old boy on the forum who thought he knew it all. One day he challenged one of our most knowledgeable, longest term keepers/breeders/importers, telling him that maybe his experience was more a beginner's luck kind of situation! That boy had NO IDEA who he was being flippant and disrespectful to (until I thoroughly informed him).

But to give credit where it's due, the kid did come back later and apologized for his post.
:)
 

EppsDynasty

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You don't know what you are talking about and are clearly looking for a fight. I'm not taking the bait. Keep keeping tortoises in pairs and you will eventually learn what the rest of us already know, after the damage is done.

Are these your first two tortoises?
I almost took the bait....stupid me. I'm still learning
This saying comes to mind...."I've got past tougher people than you, just to get to the fight"
After being admonished by every " expert "here , for having 2 Aldabras living together, I was wondering if there is any evidence that Aldabras live alone in the wild? I have never seen any Pics of Aldabras in the wild where there was only 1. Can anyone show any evidence that Aldabras are solitary animals , Other than Tom said so ?
Here are my Aldabras just this morning , at @ 5 years old they are weighing in at 98 and 91 lbs. Does it look like they are about to fight ? Fire Away :cool:
I do know that I'm not here for the people it's the torts.....Sincerely I wish yours the best.
 

Maggie3fan

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My sister kept 2 Aldabs from babies to huge...they were slow and lazy...however, I saw BO(big one) pinning SO(slow one) in a corner and SO tried to bump his way out. I guess what I am saying is...tortoise violence at times doesn't look anything like violence. BO would block So inside the shed and SO couldn't get out; that is tortoise violence. BO would block SO in a corner that doesn't LOOK violent, but So couldn't get out to eat...I have seen those tortoises for YEARS...and it was visible in size...BO was HUGE...SO was half his size. but they started out the same...my sister is the head NAZI moderator...she is among the longest and most experienced here and she saw their violence happening and GAVE I think, both Aldabs to a bigger home...again I thinkthey aren't going to just kick back and take the damned advice...maybe she sold the damn things, but when she saw the difference in size and the bumping she found a bigger home for them. But SO was by then vastly different in size...and no one knows what will happen to SO...was she alright? She looks alright...but is she alright inside? These giant tortoises were so big they were slow motion at anything...slooooow. I know Y will come one and say something, probably to me...but just for once in your life do the right thing about those tortoises and shut up and separate them before you have a BO and a SO...
 

Markw84

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After being admonished by every " expert "here , for having 2 Aldabras living together, I was wondering if there is any evidence that Aldabras live alone in the wild? I have never seen any Pics of Aldabras in the wild where there was only 1. Can anyone show any evidence that Aldabras are solitary animals , Other than Tom said so ?
Here are my Aldabras just this morning , at @ 5 years old they are weighing in at 98 and 91 lbs. Does it look like they are about to fight ? Fire Away :cool:
I also am quite interested on an update on the indoor room you built for your Aldabras. I followed the build closely and admired what you did. I recently finished a similar build for my Galapagos, so interested in how its working for you.

I do believe you are a bit off track on saying everyone says Aldabras are solitary. I'll do the opposite and say I don't thing most anyone believes that! They live in large groups. I personally believe solitary and pairs is not good. I am certainly willing to take @dd33 's conclusion that pairs may indeed be OK for Aldabras seriously.

Having evolved to live in high density on smaller habitable areas, they have adapted to living with one another. Galapagos are similar, but seem to have adapted a much more aggressive pecking order style for "getting along". Raised solitary, these giants seem to develop very abnormal behaviors and simply don't learn social skills. If later added to others, they don't know how to get along and are also problematic in learning breeding behaviors as well.

I recently was touring the Galapagos exhibit at the local zoo with the CEO of the zoo. He was showing me the 2 Galapagos females donated to the zoo a while back. Raised as a pair, one was quite larger than the other. The biggest thing that struck me was how they acted. Totally different than all the other Galapagos I have worked with and seen. They wanted no part of neck and leg rubs. They would try to bite constantly and butt at us. They acted like 2 yr old Galaps that were just learning to test each other, despite the keepers constant work with them to try to get them to accept attention.

I have come to believe the giant tortoises are group animals. Certainly if you ever hope to develop a successful breeding program, (which to me is the indication of normal, healthy, happy animals) you need to work with animals raised in a group.
 

dd33

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I do believe you are a bit off track on saying everyone says Aldabras are solitary. I'll do the opposite and say I don't thing most anyone believes that! They live in large groups. I personally believe solitary and pairs is not good. I am certainly willing to take @dd33 's conclusion that pairs may indeed be OK for Aldabras seriously.
I can't say that I have concluded that keeping Aldabra's in pairs is ok. I just have a theory that it is. I only have one group of three Aldabra's. I have never tried to keep them as a pair and it isn't fair to say that my single group is representative of how every Aldabra will behave.

Based on observations made with our group and others that I have interacted with or spoken to the owners of, I don't think it is irresponsible to suggest that keeping them in pairs is ok, possibly even beneficial. I would never make this argument for Sulcatas or Testudo species for example.

Now, down the road could there be issues with keeping them in pairs? Yes, 100%. But you will have those issues if you have 2 or 20. Adult males can fight and they will harass females. A reproductive aged male must be able to be separated from 1 female or 10 females so that he doesn't overbreed them. This is part of the husbandry of these giant species and needs to be planned for in the future. If you don't have enough space for them to get away from each other and enough space to separate them if necessary you shouldn't keep them.

It doesn't seem unreasonable to think that Aldabras could be an outlier when it comes to tortoise social behaviors. Social/communal behaviors are rare in reptiles today but its widely believed that dinosaurs exhibited these behaviors. There used to be MANY more giant and island dwelling tortoises species. Many went extinct with the arrival of humans, some as recently as the 1800's Perhaps the anomaly isn't that Aldabras may be a social species, rather it is that they are the only surviving social tortoise.
 

TheReaIMartian

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Hey, @lazybfarm ,
I understand your frustration with having your current husbandry challenged, it's not a fun feeling, but there is a lot of unnecessary defensiveness and aggression coming from your behalf that is preventing a constructive dialogue from happening here. No one is trying to vilify you, only warn you of the risks associated with your current husbandry practices.

You ask again and again for sources on why pairs of specifically Aldabra tortoises are bad or harmful. The only response I have to that is... the scholarly sources you're asking for really don't exist. Unfortunately, much of the information we have on Aldabra tortoise behavior (outside of mating behaviors) is anecdotal, but just because it is anecdotal doesn't mean it should be disregarded entirely. What we know is that in captivity the dynamics of pairs of tortoises vs groups of tortoises are very different, and often the keeping of pairs ends extremely poorly. As a keeper, your mindset should be geared towards harm reduction. Could a pair work? Sure, this has been done in captivity before and Aldabras are definitely a more relaxed species. However, there are risks associated, and I'd suggest doing more in-depth research on reptile body language to make sure there are no harmful dominance displays your animals are exhibiting that you could be missing. The "cuddling" behavior you've observed is typically one of those displays of dominance!

Now, two things I find more overtly problematic are your enclosures and the fact that you feed primarily Mazuri tortoise chow to your animals. No premade diet could replace access to a diverse array of fresh greens, grasses and flowers. A little bell pepper here and there will not enhance that diet significantly. I'd heavily implore you to look into the diets of wild Aldabras and shift the way you feed accordingly. Tortoises are grazing animals, and Aldabras specifically eat primarily young grasses, shrubs and aquatic vegetation in the wild. Making a wide variety of fresh and dried grass the bulk of your animals' diets would be extremely beneficial for them.

In terms of your enclosures, you have no large water area in sight from what I've seen. Only shallow water dishes. Implementing small pools of water your animals can fit their entire bodies into as well as implementing different levels and physical structures for your tortoises to interact with is vital for physical and mental well-being in captivity. I hope you may be willing to take these suggestions into consideration. I wish you and your animals the best of luck.

Information on Aldabra giant tortoise diets is attached below.
 

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