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Tortoise aggression

Discussion in 'Hermanns tortoises' started by Jenminer, Oct 7, 2019.

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  1. Jenminer

    Jenminer Member

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    My young Herman’s tortoise has been trying to bite our hands and feet lately. Very actively trying to run a hand or foot down and take a bite. This animal is a little over a year and a half old and was moved to a larger enclosure a few weeks ago, but the aggressive behavior started a little before that. I don’t know if it’s hormonal or because he/she feels more confident now or is defending its new home. Any thoughts on that?
  2. Tom

    Tom The Dog Trainer 5 Year Member Platinum Tortoise Club

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    Could be hormonal/territorial, or could be because it thinks you are food. Some of them are just this way. I don't know how to make it happen, or make it go away if this is the case. You just have to work around it.
    Billna the 2 likes this.
  3. ZEROPILOT

    ZEROPILOT Well-Known Member 5 Year Member Platinum Tortoise Club Tortoise Club

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    I have one tortoise that behaves this way and four that do not.
    The one that does is my dominant female. But she has always acted this way.
  4. Yvonne G

    Yvonne G Old Timer TFO Admin 10 Year Member! Platinum Tortoise Club

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    We always talk about Russian tortoises being so scrappy, but the same might be said for the hermanns and greeks. They usually try to let you know you're not wanted in their territory.
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  5. Jenminer

    Jenminer Member

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    Oh well, good thing it’s a small tortoise. Still love the little brat, I’ll make a beware of tortoise sign for the enclosure.
  6. ascott

    ascott Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    If the tort associates you with food then what you describe is expected. If you are reaching into the enclosure and placing food and the tort gets in the habit of this thing that delivers food, it may then begin to do what you describe...and feed, well those can be wiggling toes or bright yummy colors attached...which would also generate the behavior you describe.

    If you have ever had snakes and feed live food and do so from your hand---it is not surprising for a snake to begin to strike at the hand that feeds it....just routine and survival instincts and not generally personal... :)
  7. Jenminer

    Jenminer Member

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    Didn’t figure it was personal and I like the idea of my little crumb snatcher thinking I’m food instead of an invader. Although this tort will chase my cats too,,, whatever. Maybe something will change, maybe it won’t, still love the little thing. Thanks for your opinion.
  8. LyndaAnna

    LyndaAnna New Member

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    My 3 1/2 yr old suddenly started doing this, too. When I moved things or ruffled the surface in the enclosure he would rush towards my fingers and try to bite. I put it down to hormones as it was not long after this he started flashing and I determined that Daisy is in fact a male - we haven't changed his name as he doesn't realise its a girls name. haha
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