They are missing

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lovelyrosepetal

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It was portable. I do have seven kids and the ones who are old enough have been looking with me. Two of them are too young to really look but the rest were out with me before they had to go to school. They have still been looking after school when their homework is finished. I realize now, too late, that I should have had it secured to the ground. It is a dog kennel cage, but the details on the cage said it was good for all critters,guinea pigs, rabbits, etc. I usually was out there with them but this time I had a sick one year old who was really fussy, has a cold, and did not want to be outside. I went back out a little over an hour later but it was too late. There is a creek behind our backyard and a huge empty field beyond the creek. The creek is dried up right now but will likely fill up in February through May. There are a lot of trees, vines and tall grass beyond the gate. I don't know if they went back there but they might have. I have been outside most of the day, cutting more grass with scissors. If you and any of you who read this, is a person of faith, please pray that I will have a miracle and find my tortoises. I love them, as all of you love yours, and it is breaking my heart knowing that as everyday that passes the tortoises have less chance of being found.
 

dmmj

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If they are not in the grass hiding, I would imagine they simply pushed their way out from under the fence, without digging, when I was younger I had a couple of box turtles, but since I was young my first enclosures were simply chicken wire , and wood posts. They simply escaped by pushing under without doing to much damage. I am not placing blame here, just offering an possible explanation for their disappearance.
 

yagyujubei

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Since you have well searched where the pen was, I would check all of the nearest shrubs, plants,big rocks,the are the types of places my leopards like to go. They can tunnel into a tuft of grass (decorative grass)any piles of leaves or yard debris. I frequently use my foot lightly to feel around.
 

iluvtorts

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lovelyrosepetal said:
Hey everyone, I am posting this with a heavy heart. I put my tortoises outside in their outside pen, it was a nice day and I wanted them to get some fresh air and sunshine, while they could still get some. I just got a new one from Tom. It was the most perfect little sulcata ever. I was going to post pictures after I put them on my computer but everything has been a bit hectic and I hadn't gotten around to it. Anyways, I have been putting my tortoises in this pen for over three months and never had any issues with them. I am usually out there with them but not always. We don't have any dogs or cats, just a few chickens and box turtles, I figured there wasn't any harm. Well, I had them unsupervised for a little over an hour and when I went to get them there were only two in the pen. I had four. I looked everywhere. I searched and I searched until after the sun went down and I could not see anymore. I never found them. I am heartsick. They are gone and it is my fault. If they die because it gets too cold for them overnight I have no one to blame but me. I am missing mine and my husband's. I don't know what else to do. I have put this on craigslist and I am making some "lost" posters to put up around our neighborhood but I am not very hopeful. I fear that the cold night will do them in. Please don't leave your baby tortoises outside unless you are watching them. You don't want to have to have the heartache that I have. Everytime I close my eyes all I can see are my two little tortoises dead from the cold. You don't want to have to go through this. Don't take the chance, it isn't worth it.

Dont give up. We lost our sulcata here in NM, and 10 days later he was found in Ruidoso, NM. That is about 50 miles foprom where we live. The nightime temps were in the low 30s. Try to get the word out any way that you can radio stations, animal shelters, vets, and even zoos in your area. Good Luck.
 

Rio

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I dont have any advice but big hugs. I hope your babies do come back to you or that you find them.
 

lovelyrosepetal

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Just wanted to post an update. Nothing really new. I have made up some fliers and given them out, all around my neighborhood. Some people were nice about it, but most just looked at me like I was out of my mind. People don't seem to care too much for tortoises and turtles around here. They all said that they would let me know if they found any. I have got all of my grass cut and there were no tortoises. I also have been looking for my tortoises everyday and always put out enticing food. Nothing has happened but I keep trying to find them. I am hoping and praying for a miracle. Thanks for all of the suggestions and kind wishes.
 

lovelyrosepetal

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No, no one has found them and I never see them. I cut down my whole yard, now my fingers are all split and hurt like crazy, with mostly scissors and dug up a lot of my backyard but had no luck. Some conscientious neighbor/s have taken down most of my posters. I also got a very preachy email from a neighbor who saw my ads on craigslist about how I am neglectful of my tortoises by letting some birds have a tasty snack and that in the future I need to have a cover over my outside pen. I agree with her, but I did not really feel very appreciative of her advice when I saw a reply to my ad and thought someone was going to be giving me good news. I feel she is probably right and that my tortoises became crow or hawk food. Someone also might have taken them but it does not appear that if someone did, they are trying to sell them or find new owners. I scour craigslist, call pet stores and our one animal shelter, all the time. It is discouraging and makes me feel bad. My sister told me that while it was sad, to get over it. I keep hoping to find them or have them returned but I am not holding my breath.
 

dmmj

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While it is possible they might have become a snack, I still say they escaped from the enclosure, just my personal feelings on it.
 

lovelyrosepetal

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They might have. I am not sure how, unless they dug out. There was no way they could fit through the bars. If they did escape, I hope someone found them and is taking good care of them. There have been a few nights that were freezing and I doubt they would have survived.
 

dmmj

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I am not being mean here, but since it was unsecured they simply could have pushed out from under the cage, without having to dig out.
 

sibi

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Don't forget that these little guys know how to burrow deep down to keep warm. I know they were small, but I have found a tiny little Gulf Coast box turtle that's about the size of a quarter, and he was just laying on the concrete of a walkway. I have had a dickens of a time trying to get him to eat anything: bugs, crickets (live ones), greens, fruit, worms (also live), and all he wants to do is burrow and sleep. I don't know if these turtles hibernate; so, I'll have to read up on it, but my point is that even at that size, burrowers get in the ground and can survive cold winters. You may be very surprised one day. Keep hoping and praying but don't neglect the others around you that need you now. Keeping busy helps take your mind of things too.
 

lovelyrosepetal

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It was too heavy for the tortoises to simply push the cage. The bars are not very heavy but weigh a good ten pounds total. Also I had a heavy wood board over part of the enclosure as shade from the sun. I suppose it is possible but I think very unlikely. When they try to get out through the bars, they never are able to push the "walls" of the enclosure and they do strain a bit, trying to get through. I think the most likely thing that happened is that someone or something took them out. It seems strange to me, that the two with the nicest shells and the two that were least adventurous are the ones that are gone. The one was perfect, I got it from Tom and the other one was the smoothest of my original three and all of them have smooth shells with slight pyramiding, I do mean slight.


I don't think you are being mean Captain Awesome!. I just feel lousy about the whole thing. I wish I could go back in time and change things, but I can't. If someone on this forum knows how, I will pay you to go back and I would not have left them alone.;)


Thanks, sibi. I hope you are right. It has been over two weeks and many countless hours were spent looking for them. We have a creek behind our house and beyond that is a large empty field. I have done all I can and continue to pray for them. I try to keep busy and I have faith that the Lord will help me through this. Whether it is the way I want or not.
 
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