Tortoise duo not taken care of at my school.

OkAdiza

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Hello,
Thank you for what you are trying to do for these tortoises. I know you were unable to get pictures, but would you recognize them if you looked through pictures of tortoise species on the forum? Might be a start for identification.
Hope everything works out well for you and the tortoises.
 

Duckster RT

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Hello everyone. My school currently has 2 very young looking tortoises kept in a tortoise table filled with sand, a small underground burrow, and food and water platforms that are never filled, except by that of the students during lunch time. Obviously there's something wrong with their care. These tortoises have been in this situation since a while last year. We have made complaints to the principal but nothing seems to have gone through to it's owner. Just yesterday I found out the owner's name, turns out he's a teacher. The tortoise table is pad-locked on both sides and left outside, and the two little ones have been in their burrow all winter, not even coming out at the hottest time of the day, and now i'm wondering if they are even alive in there. I doubt I would be able to take them home, nor can I visit the school more than during the school day. I have talked to the principal briefly, but to little avail it seems. I want to do something more, as I was stupid for waiting so long to take action. I have an idea about what I should do, but does anyone have anymore advice? How should I go about improving these guys living conditions?
Yes. Thanks for being a ambassador for the school pet. Informing them of how they can better the care is great. Getting the proper housing and care will be a rewarding experience.
 

bella&george

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Hello,
Thank you for what you are trying to do for these tortoises. I know you were unable to get pictures, but would you recognize them if you looked through pictures of tortoise species on the forum? Might be a start for identification.
Hope everything works out well for you and the tortoises.
Thanks for the support. I started looking through some pictures, and tortoises there do not look like sulcatas, nor any kind of brightly colored or patterned tortoise like the leopard. I am thinking that they could be a pair of russians. Also, I have been confused as to what range "desert tortoise" refers to. The teacher in the email said "..they are desert tortoises, so they are hibernating.". I thought she was referring to the common species like sulcatas or russians, since "desert" seems to be what most people think all tortoises are. I am not very informed on the subject either. Could she possibly mean that they are Desert Totoises, as in a species? When looking I also found a picture that looked very similar to the tortoises there. (Not a picture of one of the actual torts) They look much like this except maybe darker. Any ideas?
 

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wellington

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I think they may be just that, the native to AZ desert tortoise.
However, from what you are saying you think they are, russians or desert, they are not to be fed fruit and veggies but dark leafy weeds/greens and all the cactus in AZ the optunia is great for them.
 

bella&george

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If you're from AZ it could be desert torts (Gopherus), some desert torts look like sulcatas. Could it be a sonoran desert tortoises?View attachment 339068
Their shells were not quite as defined and textured as that. Here are some more pictures that look similar from what I remember.
 

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bella&george

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I think they may be just that, the native to AZ desert tortoise.
However, from what you are saying you think they are, russians or desert, they are not to be fed fruit and veggies but dark leafy weeds/greens and all the cactus in AZ the optunia is great for them.
I agree. I'll be paying attention to their diet once they come out on their own.
 

TaylorTortoise

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Would this be the colors you are seeing? This is indeed, a Russian.
 

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bella&george

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Also, I have another update for this thread. I caught a cold over the weekend and had to skip school today, but this morning I got another email from the teacher who sent one last time. I may have been too quick to judge her, which I feel happens often with me. She seems to understand that the students and teacher who are supposed to take care of these guys don't entirely know what they're doing. She says that she thinks they are both Sonoran desert tortoises, which would make sense from the way they look. She also told me about how she keeps her sulcata in a fenced in area in her backyard, and said she would send me pictures. And, for the last of it, she told me that we would both have to approach the teacher in charge after the tortoises' brumation ended. Honestly, it is much more reassuring having a teacher that seems to care with me on this. I will continue to keep everyone updated.
 

bella&george

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Went to school today, now I am back. Owner is also back, but didn't talk to him just yet. Turns out the tortoises came out yesterday while I was gone and ate some food.... that's what what I heard from a friend that visits almost every lunch-time. Shouldn't have put food in there or let a teacher from the classroom put apples in there last Friday. I didn't understand that they were brumating at the time. But, if they came out on their own and we are getting 70 degree weather around this time.. I don't think they can brumate until April. Didn't see them come out at lunch today, thoug. I am going to email the teacher again about this. That is all for the update.
 

jeff kushner

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Like many folks here, I bought kids many years ago. I bought a quarter/dozen. They are grown now but as difficult as it was quite often raising them, I have always said;

Have faith in Youth................as a whole, they are always sharper than we as parents think they are.

You are why I feel so strongly about that......just "doing the right thing" comes natural to you & it makes you a Superstar to a lot of us here!

You just made my day......

jeff
 

bella&george

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You all are very helpful, especially when even though I know that something needs to change for these guys, I doubt myself and find myself thinking "Who am I to do this or say this?" or wondering if I can even do anything for them... But I know I have to keep my confidence. ? Once again, thank you.
 

Snoopy’s mom

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I went through almost exactly the same thing, and Iʻm at a school too, and no, the kids did not take care of him well, they were constantly picking him up and messing with him, putting him up on his hide so see if he would jump down of fall off. Every single day was agonizing, I visited the tort at recess and lunch and took him out after school so he could graze. I asked the teacher if I could take him home on the weekend since no one was feeding him. I gave the care sheet to the teacher who then said it was too "hard-core". It took months, but I ended up convincing her to let me have him. I hope everything works out for you.

Who you are to say those things? Someone who actually cares, thatʻs who! :<3:
 

TaylorTortoise

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I went through almost exactly the same thing, and Iʻm at a school too, and no, the kids did not take care of him well, they were constantly picking him up and messing with him, putting him up on his hide so see if he would jump down of fall off. Every single day was agonizing, I visited the tort at recess and lunch and took him out after school so he could graze. I asked the teacher if I could take him home on the weekend since no one was feeding him. I gave the care sheet to the teacher who then said it was too "hard-core". It took months, but I ended up convincing her to let me have him. I hope everything works out for you.

Who you are to say those things? Someone who actually cares, thatʻs who! :<3:
Did you rescue the tort in your profile?
 

bella&george

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I went through almost exactly the same thing, and Iʻm at a school too, and no, the kids did not take care of him well, they were constantly picking him up and messing with him, putting him up on his hide so see if he would jump down of fall off. Every single day was agonizing, I visited the tort at recess and lunch and took him out after school so he could graze. I asked the teacher if I could take him home on the weekend since no one was feeding him. I gave the care sheet to the teacher who then said it was too "hard-core". It took months, but I ended up convincing her to let me have him. I hope everything works out for you.

Who you are to say those things? Someone who actually cares, thatʻs who! :<3:
It's great that you were able to save him.
Haha, no, my profile picture of my naughty russian. This is Nibbles
He's such a cutie. Looks like he likes that grass. ?
And your response is very much appreciated, still going at it trying to find out what I could do to make it a little better for these two. Going to print out some desert tortoise care sheets from Don's Desert Torts, since most signs point to them being some kind of desert tort. Wondering what I can do to keep them up instead of hibernating, while keeping them in the tortoise table since there's nowhere else at the moment... maybe a CHE bulb in a corner of their table? I don't know, but I'll figure it out.
 

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