Tortoise Hybrids?

jonathan gray

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I have seen a number of postings and photographs of various tortoise hybrids: lepracatas, redfoot/sulcata, radiata/sulcata, etc. And while some of them may appear 'pretty', my ultimate question is 'is this right?' I have my own (rather strong), opinions on this subject, but I would be interested in hearing what other dedicated turtle and tortoise breeders have to say.
 

Tom

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We've covered this many times here. You can do a search and read past discussions.

No, its not right. It shouldn't be done, and it shouldn't be encouraged. Different species should never be living together in the same areas, so breeding should really never be happening between different species. Its just bad news all around.
 

method89

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My initial response was "no, absolutely not". But then I started pondering the question more and began to think of all the hybrids that we are ok with. Fruits and vegetables are hybridized all the time and most of us don't blink an eye. In fact, most gardeners run out to find the newest variations of seeds that are out there. How many of us like our banana with seeds? People are "hybridized" as well. Back to tortoises, I think it has to be up to the individual keeper and the health of the tortoise. I can't speak to the health concerns or complications that arise from combining 2 different species of tortoises so I will let people in the know speak on that. For me personally though, I wouldn't mix the breeds. I have a western hermanns tortoise and I believe they are unique and their numbers are dwindling so a hybrid is only hurting the preservation of this variant of tortoise.
 

Tom

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My initial response was "no, absolutely not". But then I started pondering the question more and began to think of all the hybrids that we are ok with. Fruits and vegetables are hybridized all the time and most of us don't blink an eye. In fact, most gardeners run out to find the newest variations of seeds that are out there. How many of us like our banana with seeds? People are "hybridized" as well. Back to tortoises, I think it has to be up to the individual keeper and the health of the tortoise. I can't speak to the health concerns or complications that arise from combining 2 different species of tortoises so I will let people in the know speak on that. For me personally though, I wouldn't mix the breeds. I have a western hermanns tortoise and I believe they are unique and their numbers are dwindling so a hybrid is only hurting the preservation of this variant of tortoise.
Who is this "we" you speak of? You got a mouse in your pocket that is okay with hybrids? :p

I'm not okay with hybrids. I don't like it in fish, birds, snakes, fruits, flowers or anything else.

You can't hybridize humans. We are all the same species. Unless you meant mixing humans with other animal species...

The very problem that you point out with your western Hermanni, exists with all species of tortoise, and they should not be interbred, or mixed in any way, for the very same reasons as you illuminated for your western. What the "individual keeper" does, can have an effect on the whole community.
 

method89

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I'm not gonna lie, I love a nice plumcot. That aside, I agree with @Tom (not as strongly) that it shouldn't be done.
 
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zovick

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I have seen a number of postings and photographs of various tortoise hybrids: lepracatas, redfoot/sulcata, radiata/sulcata, etc. And while some of them may appear 'pretty', my ultimate question is 'is this right?' I have my own (rather strong), opinions on this subject, but I would be interested in hearing what other dedicated turtle and tortoise breeders have to say.

I am another one who does not condone hybridizing tortoises.

Also FYI, one of the conditions of holding a CBW Permit for any endangered species is that permit the holder will NOT breed hybrids from the permitted animals. This is stated in the "small print" of the permit application or in the info which is sent with the permit once it is granted.
 
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