There a tortoise that can do well in Alabama, California, a genuine tropical environment?

XanaZoo

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So I need to have a tortoise and I've been researching for months.
I currently reside in northern Alabama. I'd like to move because I hate living in one place for too long.
I'm tempted to move to California because of their great expansive healthcare laws, plus it's supposed to be like a queer mecca. I'm curious about new Orleans because it seems very fun and the climate is perfect for me. I love constant heat and humidity. Ultimately I'll do some more traveling and go wherever feels right. Alabama is my fifth state so far.

I've always wanted to live somewhere tropical and I plan to do so by the time I'm retirement age but hopefully long before. I'm training to be a massage therapist and I could work at a resort at some tropical destination somewhere.

Now of course , that's a variety of climates and I need a tortoise. One I can keep forever hopefully the rest of my life. I may just need to build an elaborate indoor set-up to get them through the California stage. But i want to be smart about this.

Any suggestions?
 

Lyn W

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I don't know anything about climates etc in the areas you mentioned but If you're planning on moving about a lot I would go for a smallish species, but I believe different states have different laws about which species can be kept so you would need to find a species that is welcome everywhere.
Most small torts need an enclosure 4 x 8 feet minimum after a couple of years so your new homes would need to be able to accommodate that - ideally with space for an outdoor enclosure too, but the larger species obviously need a much bigger living space. There's a lot to consider.
 

wellington

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The desert tortoise as mentioned can not be moved out of California so if you plan on moving out from CA the desert is not the one to get.
The Russian, Hermanns or Greek is one that stays smaller and would be the best for moving around as they stay small enough to do so. They still require a minimum of a 4x8 foot enclosure as adults though.
I would recommend waiting until you settle into a forever home.
 

SinLA

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I think the life you are planning sounds amazing -- for a person, but might not be the best for a tortoise. Are you sure this is the right stage of your life to get one? Craigslist is full of people trying to place tortoises because they outlast the life habits they had at the time they got them. Anyway, i second the notion of a hardier, smaller species like a Russian tortoise. I think it will just be able to meld with your nomadic life better...
 

Tom

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So I need to have a tortoise and I've been researching for months.
I currently reside in northern Alabama. I'd like to move because I hate living in one place for too long.
I'm tempted to move to California because of their great expansive healthcare laws, plus it's supposed to be like a queer mecca. I'm curious about new Orleans because it seems very fun and the climate is perfect for me. I love constant heat and humidity. Ultimately I'll do some more traveling and go wherever feels right. Alabama is my fifth state so far.

I've always wanted to live somewhere tropical and I plan to do so by the time I'm retirement age but hopefully long before. I'm training to be a massage therapist and I could work at a resort at some tropical destination somewhere.

Now of course , that's a variety of climates and I need a tortoise. One I can keep forever hopefully the rest of my life. I may just need to build an elaborate indoor set-up to get them through the California stage. But i want to be smart about this.

Any suggestions?
Are you willing to buy a great big 4x8 foot closed chamber and haul that all around with you? You won't be able to move a tortoise internationally, but you could certainly move it anywhere in the continental US with you with the right enclosure. Moves would be less traumatic and stressful since your tortoise would be in its own "home" wherever you went.

A little male Burmese star tortoise would suit you perfectly. They only grow to about 9 inches, and a 4x8 will house them well when they have to be indoors due to weather. The closed chamber will give you perfect tortoise conditions anywhere in the world, and this being a tropical species, you won't have to worry about brumation issues and your companion will always be awake and with you. They are hardy, adaptable, eat everything, and they have nice personalities. Some species are more shy like a pancake or Indian star, but a Burmese star would tame up and be a nice pet.

A small Russian, greek or hermanni male, would also work, but those will all want to brumate, and you either have to fight that compulsion, or go ahead and brumate them, which is my preference. Maybe you'd like a break for 3-4 months each year?

Here is care info for tropical species:

Here is care info for temperate species:
 

XanaZoo

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Are you willing to buy a great big 4x8 foot closed chamber and haul that all around with you? You won't be able to move a tortoise internationally, but you could certainly move it anywhere in the continental US with you with the right enclosure. Moves would be less traumatic and stressful since your tortoise would be in its own "home" wherever you went.

A little male Burmese star tortoise would suit you perfectly. They only grow to about 9 inches, and a 4x8 will house them well when they have to be indoors due to weather. The closed chamber will give you perfect tortoise conditions anywhere in the world, and this being a tropical species, you won't have to worry about brumation issues and your companion will always be awake and with you. They are hardy, adaptable, eat everything, and they have nice personalities. Some species are more shy like a pancake or Indian star, but a Burmese star would tame up and be a nice pet.

A small Russian, greek or hermanni male, would also work, but those will all want to brumate, and you either have to fight that compulsion, or go ahead and brumate them, which is my preference. Maybe you'd like a break for 3-4 months each year?

Here is care info for tropical species:

Here is care info for temperate species:
I could definitely build a cage of that scale that would be simple to disassemble and reassemble. I'm going to move furniture so it wouldn't be that much to add an extra piece. With an indoor set-up like that the climate outside wouldn't matter that much.

It's not outright impossible to move a tortoise internationally but it will require paperwork that will take months to get and varies from country to country. In plenty of cases it will be impossible. I'm willing to limit my destinations by that, or just plan on only being there a few years before returning stateside while he stays with someone I trust.

Burmese stars on my list of potentials. I like them a lot. I'm going to get a hatchling though so I'll have no control over the sex.
Hermann's are actually at the top of my list because of their hardiness and that they live in a hotter climate although not truly tropical.
 

XanaZoo

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had Ihink the life you are planning sounds amazing -- for a person, but might not be the best for a tortoise. Are you sure this is the right stage of your life to get one? Craigslist is full of people trying to place tortoises because they outlast the life habits they had at the time they got them. Anyway, i second the notion of a hardier, smaller species like a Russian tortoise. I think it will just be able to meld with your nomadic life better...
I had an Eastern Painted Turtle from age 4 to 32. He just passed away in February and I don't want to live my life without a turtle. He was there for every stage of my life so far. He moved with me to all but one State and he did fine. We had been in Alabama for 6 years.

I never want to stop moving. It's one of my big life goals, to have lived as many places as possible. I really believe I can do that, with a turtle. I'd like to have a land dweller this time so I'm planning for a tortoise.

Russians would be a good pick but I'm not sure they'd enjoy my penchant for hot climates.
 

enchilada

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where in CA ? climates here varies depending on the elevation and distance to coast. In Los Angels you can ski in the morning and surfing in the afternoon. sometimes we experience 4 seasons in one day
 

Shelled

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Don't be surprised if your lifegoals change. I've been like you, lived on 4 continents, 7 countries, but don't really want to move anymore, I'd like to settle now!
 

XanaZoo

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Alabama
had Ihink the life you are planning sounds amazing -- for a person, but might not be the best for a tortoise. Are you sure this is the right stage of your life to get one? Craigslist is full of people trying to place tortoises because they outlast the life habits they had at the time they got them. Anyway, i second the notion of a hardier, smaller species like a Russian tortoise. I think it will just be able to meld with your nomadic life better...
I had an Eastern Painted Turtle from age 4 to 32. He just passed away in February and I don't want to live my life without a turtle. He was there for every stage of my life so far. He moved with me to all but one State and he did fine. We had been in Alabama for 6 years.

I never want to stop moving. It's one of my big life goals, to have lived as many places as possible. I really believe I can do that, with a turtle. I'd like to have a land dweller this time so I'm planning for a tortoise.

Russians would be a good pick but I'm not sure they'd enjoy my penchant for hot climates.
Don't be surprised if your lifegoals change. I've been like you, lived on 4 continents, 7 countries, but don't really want to move anymore, I'd like to setttle now!

Don't be surprised if your lifegoals change. I've been like you, lived on 4 continents, 7 countries, but don't really want to move anymore, I'd like to settle now!
Maybe I will feel that way too once I've lived a bit more. Where did you live? And did you bring any animal friends with you on international moves?
 

Farcryjj

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I think turtles are a lot less demanding compared to tortoises in terms of enclosure size, environmental conditions (lighting, humidity, different zones of temperature...) and food. If you pick a small turtle, like a 3-striprd mud turtle, you will be able to move around with it much easier.
 

Shelled

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I had an Eastern Painted Turtle from age 4 to 32. He just passed away in February and I don't want to live my life without a turtle. He was there for every stage of my life so far. He moved with me to all but one State and he did fine. We had been in Alabama for 6 years.

I never want to stop moving. It's one of my big life goals, to have lived as many places as possible. I really believe I can do that, with a turtle. I'd like to have a land dweller this time so I'm planning for a tortoise.

Russians would be a good pick but I'm not sure they'd enjoy my penchant for hot climates.



Maybe I will feel that way too once I've lived a bit more. Where did you live? And did you bring any animal friends with you on international moves?

Various countries in Africa, Caribbean, US, a few European countries. I didn't bring any animals along, it wasn't compatible with the work. However, the work was animal focused, so no shortage of seeing animals.
 

XanaZoo

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ious countries in Africa, Caribbean, US, a few European countries. I didn't bring any animals along, it wasn't compatible with the work. However, the work was animal focused, so no shortage of seeing animals.
That sounds amazing. What type of work may I ask?
 

ZippyButter

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Wow if you move to Cali you would be able to get a Desert Tortoise !
And when he decides to move out of CA, he cannot take that Desert Tort with him. There goes the idea of keeping the tort forever. Since he mentions that he doesn't want to live in one place too long, and love to move around the country, I think it's best for him is to have a virtual tortoise/tortoises.
 

Shelled

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That sounds amazing. What type of work may I ask?
Wildlife research and conservation. In the Caribbean with mongooses and iguanas, in Africa with large carnivores, in the US it was writing up a thesis, and now mostly lecturing about the same.
 
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