What are the typical signs a red footed tortoise exhibits when feeling stressed?

willee638

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My yearling red foot has not been very active almost all of the time in her enclosure & I had her for a little over a year now, just days before I expanded the enclosure but most of the layouts was pretty much the same as before except with a 20+ percentage in additional space. Another question is another RF hatchling of undetermined age was temporarily put in my care from a friend & also placed in the same living space but the enclosure is big enough for the both to not see each other or easily come in contact without any barriers, they were taken out for sunlight & to roam but once I witnessed my yearling was sniffing the new addition temporarily in my ward. Was this a hostile behaviour or just getting acquainted with each other? I did not see any attacks by my yearling against the smaller tortoise & he/she did not try to run but remained still. When both are together I was constantly monitoring the situation the whole time & would separate them immediately, the younger tort was eating normally & did not attempt to escape the enclosure or stayed hidden in or out of their enclosure. Both torts ate normally & most of the time just ignored each other, the smaller one is much more active than the other.
 

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Armadillogroomer

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"temporarily put in my care" ... congrats on your new tortoise ;)

Not eating and weight loss are the biggest indicators of stress. The problem with tortoises is that they don't have huge red flags like with other animals. It can take a long time to notice something is wrong. Live slow, die slow is the tortoise's motto. Maybe tomorrow or maybe years from now, you'll randomly find the smaller tort will swollen eyes or bite marks.

Tortoises use silent intimidation. It looks like cuddling or staring at one another. They are independent creatures with obsessive personalities and once one starts to bully the other, it will never stop.
 

ZEROPILOT

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There is a real possibility that by not quarantining the new tortoise, your other one may have contracted an illness.
But it's also true that changes in environment and being able to just know another tortoise is nearby often make them shut down.
 

willee638

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"temporarily put in my care" ... congrats on your new tortoise ;)

Not eating and weight loss are the biggest indicators of stress. The problem with tortoises is that they don't have huge red flags like with other animals. It can take a long time to notice something is wrong. Live slow, die slow is the tortoise's motto. Maybe tomorrow or maybe years from now, you'll randomly find the smaller tort will swollen eyes or bite marks.

Tortoises use silent intimidation. It looks like cuddling or staring at one another. They are independent creatures with obsessive personalities and once one starts to bully the other, it will never stop.
Thank you for the useful input, yes my larger tort can sense immediately there's another tortoise is near by & will stare at that direction for a while. I keep the yearling tortoise out of her enclosure for sometimes up to 2 or more hours because she starts to climb the sides of her enclosure even by herself, I learn tortoises needs to be apart from each other best everyday for a few hours a day, because even when I take her to the park she would continuously wants to reach the edge of the fences regardless she's in a few thousand feet of grass field. I will separate both tortoises several times in a day & provide each with their own hides away from each other.
 

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