Tortoise ID tag


Active Member
5 Year Member
Nov 12, 2011
Location (City and/or State)
Gainesville, Fl (Go Gators!)
Hey guys! I know there has been tons of threads talking about putting dog tags on tortoises. The one I’ve had on mine just recently fell off and upon searching on this forum to find out the best place to put it and the best epoxy to use I mostly found several threads where the idea was put down. It was suggested to just build an enclosure your tort can’t escape from and it was pointed out that that a microchip may be better because thieves or a “bad guy” who found the cool tort and wants to keep it would just take the tag off. I don’t disagree with those statements but what about when you didn’t notice the spot that your tort figures out he can escape from before you do and you live in a world where do-gooders don’t just exist in fairy tales? I just wanted to share that my ID tag saved my tortoise on several occasions.

My 15 pound sulcata has about 1/4 of an acre, maybe slightly less. It is fenced in well as it was made for goats originally. He happily lived there for 3 months before he first got out and he did NOT have a dog tag. I spent every free second of an exhausting two weeks searching my 6.5 acres and putting flyers in people’s mailboxes. I got several calls stating he was found only to go there and see a gopher tortoise. He was found two weeks later and I glued an ID tag on his shell and put boards around the bottom of every inch of his pasture. After another year of happily living life happened and I ended up having to move to the middle of the city on 1/4 acre property myself. Sure, I could spend money on a pen right now and force my tort to live in a much smaller space than he’s accustomed to but I chose to let him stay where he was at. My sister still lives there and she makes sure to clean out his large concrete water slabs every so often and I go see him every couple weeks when I visit, more often during our Florida winters. I felt bad at first but he’s very spoiled in that weedy pasture of his and he doesn’t miss me at all. One day my sister came home to find the tortoise in her squirrel pen which is near where she parks her car (no squirrels at the time). Turns out somebody found him and saw his tag and called me. I was at work and didn’t check my phone all day so they drove to the address on the tag and stuck him in what must’ve looked like a tortoise enclosure to them (very narrow but extremely tall cage for a critter that doesn’t climb!). I was so thankful because we hadn’t even realized he was gone! (The times my sister goes out to clean the water slabs don’t always match up with his grazing times, I had just been over ther 3 days ago though). I fixed all the places I thought he could’ve gotten out but 3 months later I was sent a picture of him by a stranger asking if I was missing someone. Again, I didn’t see it until after work and by the time I got the message they had already released him (which seems silly to me because he’s obviously lost). The people let me search their property the next 2 mornings but he wasn’t found. (I did find a LOT of gophers though, it’s actually amazing how many their neighborhood had) The lady said she thought he was a gopher from far away as they were doing yard work but the tag caught her eye and she new he was someone’s pet (even though she released him). Luckily he had somehow made his way into a fenced community so I only had to put up one sign right by the only entrance to the place. I didn’t get a single false gopher tortoise phone call because people knew to look for his tag. A couple kids saw my sign and actually set out looking for him and he was found two days later! Remember previously I said he was missing for 2 weeks and was eventually found by somebody that lived on the street behind me? This time I don’t know exactly how long he had been missing for but I know it wasn’t two weeks yet he was found About FOUR MILES from home. I would not have been looking that far and I would not have been putting up signs and passing out flyers that far either. He only had 2 miles to go in the direction he was traveling before he hit a major highway. I am so thankful for his tag. If he was simply microchipped he could’ve easily been mistaken for any old tortoise (most people cannot look at a tort and know that they aren’t native).

Don’t worry, there’s no way he can get out now.
Also, I’m convinced he got so far in so little time because he followed a trail made for power lines that runs from behind his enclosure to behind the house he was found at! I sure hope he didn’t find any gophers to mate with along the way

Also can anyone confirm that the blue square in this picture would be an okay place to glue his new tag??



Well-Known Member
Tortoise Club
Platinum Tortoise Club
Jul 8, 2017
Location (City and/or State)
Low desert 50 mi SE of Palm Springs CA
Thanks for sharing your rescue stories!

I have a desert tortoise. I just took some sturdy paper and wrote my phone number on it. Then epoxied it to him. This has worked well for me. It's in a place where it doesn't get scraped off when burrowing.
You can see it on his right rear-looks gray because I covered my number.

And I don't usually let him wander the unusual circumstance. 20180723_125810.jpeg

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