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What To Do About Pics Of Inappropriate Tortoise Practices?

Discussion in 'Debatable Topics' started by Tom, Oct 6, 2015.

  1. Tom

    Tom The Dog Trainer 5 Year Member

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    I am constantly confronted with this dilemma. Someone happily posts a picture of their baby sulcata eating a strawberry, or their desert tortoise eating an apple, or their dog or cat "playing" with their tortoise, or the tortoise sunning next to the human swimming pool, running loose in a public park… etc… You pick the bad or dangerous practice.

    They post the pic wanting to share their happiness and commune with like minded folks, but all I see is a disaster in the making. Do I say something and make them hate me and never want to post again? Will they be grateful that I'm attempting to save their tortoise from harm?

    Saying something is likely to upset them, but how upset will they be when their tortoise is injured, ill or dead and nobody said anything?

    I could take it to PM, but not saying anything publicly is in some manner condoning the practice, and I certainly don't want other people reading to think these things are okay to do.


    All opinion and discussion is welcome here. What do you guys do when you see this sort of thing?
  2. G-stars

    G-stars Well-Known Member

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    I think it should be pointed it. Some people know the risks and still take them.
    While others do it out of ignorance. Once they are informed they can then take the risk if so desired. I like how straight forward @Tom is, some people may not. But the intention is always good. I would rather someone be straight forward with me or "harsh" if it means that my animals will benefit from it, some don't like constructive criticism.

    "Don't regret what you have done, regret what you should have done"
  3. wellington

    wellington Well-Known Member Moderator 5 Year Member

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    I usually say something. I don't care about the person as much as the animal. I think it's in the way you say it if they hate you or thank you. If I'm in a hurry or bad mood, and I say something, that's usually when it doesn't go well. I am trying to at those times say nothing until I can come back in a better mood or more time. Suggest and give a why, a demanding tone or short answer never seems to fly.
    Now I know others won't say anything on an intro thread. However, I will, it may be the only chance you have to get the info to them.
    That's my opinion and I'm sticking to it.
  4. Careym13

    Careym13 Well-Known Member

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    Personally, I would say something. I don't know always know enough to point out diet related photos, but I have pointed out dog photos. I think saying it, in a direct yet polite as possible manner, is in the best interest of the tortoise. I'd rather have a human upset with me than have that same human have a dead/injured animal. Now, it would be unfortunate for that person to leave the forum or not want to post anymore, but for many of those people I would hope common sense would eventually prevail and they would see the error of their ways.
  5. Alaskamike

    Alaskamike Well-Known Member

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    I've posted pics of my Sulcata next to my dog
    ImageUploadedByTortoise Forum1444158273.684244.jpg
    Two different type eating together
    ImageUploadedByTortoise Forum1444158320.886780.jpg

    And my little Redfoot in the human pool
    ImageUploadedByTortoise Forum1444158409.395961.jpg

    And I know somewhere there is a photo of my Sulcata with " strawberry face ".
    And pictures of my badly pyramided Redfoot.

    It would not bother me if someone pointed out -
    Possible cross contamination
    Beware of dogs & torts together
    Chlorine is bad for torts.
    Fruit is bad for Sulcatas
    Pyramiding is caused by dehydration
    Etc.

    Personally , I feel pretty confident in my practices , and am always willing to learn and change my mind.

    What always takes me back a bit is when a new person comes here and asks for advice then argues about the advice. That is amazing.

    In the short time I've been on TFO , I have seen a softening in the initial way advice is given - and I applaud that.

    But I would be unhappy if it was not given. Or bad practices ignored.
    If some people get the a_ _ because their enclosures are not praised so be it. Teachable moments are sometimes short and opportunity lost.

    Being a " bull dog" when it comes to best care practice is what I love about this forum. ( not that I'm calling you bull dogs Tom & Yvonne .... Will maybe .... ) :)
  6. Alaskamike

    Alaskamike Well-Known Member

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    Lyn W likes this.
  7. AnimalLady

    AnimalLady Well-Known Member

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    I think its best to say something. Sometimes it doesn't really come off sounding like advice though and that's the tricky part for me. I sleep better at night knowing I might have saved an animal though. So, I really just put the humans feelings aside and worry about the animal at hand. I do try my hardest to not come off sounding like a btch, that's not always accomplished though *shrug*

    I'm new here, I've been given the absolute best advice, and I really trust what you guys tell me. Everything isn't unicorns and rainbows and I understand that, I wear my big girl panties all the time so my feelers are never hurt lol.

    If you cant stand things of this nature, stay far the hell away from the tortoise facebook page. The things I see people do on there, my goodness.
    AquaIce, Dessy and Careym13 like this.
  8. wellington

    wellington Well-Known Member Moderator 5 Year Member

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    I love bull dogs:D
    Lyn W likes this.
  9. Neal

    Neal Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    I've had a similar discussion with another forum member over the past couple of days. An appropriate approach would always depend on the specific situation. In my case, I did not have a good understanding of the background of why someone presented publicly (in my case it was just words, not a picture). Instead of publicly discussing it, I took it to a PM and resolved the matter peacefully. Resolved well enough for me that is so going forward I will not feel so quick to the defensive. In the context of the scenario you described, unless you know that someone is intentionally engaging in something harmful as a matter of regular practice, instead of someones dog just happened to be in the same area when that particular picture was taken, then I think a more public discussion might be more appropriate. You know what I"m trying to say?

    If it were me, and I was sure someone was intentionally engaging in (what I would consider to be) a harmful practice, then I would speak up to the person directly and publicly and explain why it's harmful. Not doing so would dis-serves the community, in my opinion.

    It's a fine line to walk though, so I totally understand how you feel. From what I've seen, these types of discussions escalate very quickly to personal attacks and people leave the forum or worse, become enemies. I think what causes that is both parties feel the need to convince each other that they're individual opinions are correct so the arguments keep going on and on and on. It's hard to let go when it gets to that level, I know, I've been there. Personally, I would prefer to see each party explain why they are engaging in the practice or why they would discourage it, then move on with their lives. Let the reader make their own determination as to what is right and what is wrong, rather than trying to convince them.
    Jacqui, AmRoKo, Lyn W and 3 others like this.
  10. dmmj

    dmmj The member formerly known as captain awesome Moderator 5 Year Member

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    I usually don't say something unless I am asked.
    SherrySue likes this.
  11. Yvonne G

    Yvonne G Old Timer TFO Admin 10 Year Member! Platinum Supporter

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    I really feel badly when a new member feels so happy and proud of their picture that they want to share it with other tortoise lovers, but then gets shot down because the picture displays something that might eventually be harmful to the tortoise. It bothers me. By the same token, if we see a really cute picture of a small tortoise and a big brute of a dog, and we don't say anything besides, "Oh, how cute is that?", then the picture is there for posterity. Anyone signing onto the forum, guest or member, sees the picture and it looks like it is approved by the membership, or looks like that practice is an ok practice.

    So, I feel we need to say something. BUT - there is a right way and a wrong way. And once the practice has been pointed out to the Original Poster (OP), and explained in a nice way, NO OTHER MEMBER NEEDS TO POST AND SAY THE SAME THING!!!!!! If you have a different opinion, by all means, post your opinion, but let's don't all of us jump on them.
  12. Will

    Will Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    As a mentor once said to me, when they really didn't have an answer they'd say " well that's a pickle isn't it."

    It's hard to know the sensitivity of someone right in front of you (hard for me to know) let alone the anonymous nature of people we meet through this kind of venue. It would be most desirable to alert the person to what the 'wrong' message might be in their image, without making them feel backed into a corner.

    So maybe there might be a simple thread somewhere called "best simple practices", that can be inserted via link into the image poster's thread. Not some long diatribe, but bullet points.

    1) never mix species, a debatable topic thoroughly discussed here Thread link,
    2) dog and tortoises don't mix, not ever. discussed here Thread link,
    3) CFL bring many concerns with them, discussed here Thread Link
    4) fun with tortoise food overwintering discussed here Thread link, (something positive)
    5) blah blah blah.


    You can't pin every post, but this might be a way to highlight the topic by a common thread title, but then link it to a reasonable good discussion on the topic.


    So the OP post a picture of three species sharing a meal with a pet raccoon near a pool.

    My comment would be

    "Cool image, some might say it's a test to see good image focus of not good practices with tortoise keeping, take a look at this thread, of links to threads regarding what could be better. My concerns are 1) mixed species, 2) pet raccoon, and 3)proximity to the pool"

    I am sure that thread of best practices which would only really be a series of links to threads discussing the topics would be argued until our fingers are bloody from typing, so that's where some monitor would have to do some heavy lifting and maybe even suggest "Thread abcxyz post numbers 12, 17, and 31, discuss the dangers of pools and tortoises ability to swim."

    https://www.facebook.com/KapidoloFarms
    Lyn W, maybe, Nephelle and 1 other person like this.
  13. wellington

    wellington Well-Known Member Moderator 5 Year Member

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    I don't agree, that just one member posting about the bad things in the pic is enough. So what, one member disagrees. When a consenses of the post are the same, then it can be taken more seriously and given more value/merit. Of course, it always has to do with the tone of each post and how the agreement of the care is presented.
    RosemaryDW, Tidgy's Dad and Lyn W like this.
  14. Nephelle

    Nephelle Well-Known Member

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    I think @Yvonne G hit the nail on the head. It's not being told once, it's being told 10 times before being given the chance to correct the issue.

    As for myself, I have been told wrong on several occasions. And, I have felt those moments of frustration when I know I am trying and still hitting bumps. I have simply learned over the years to work past the bruises and appreciate the value of good advice. Others might not be there yet, and get defensive, angry, or just leave.

    I would want to be told in a clear way that didn't just say WRONG but said WHY it was wrong. If, however, the first person responding didn't offer a why, I would be appreciative after that if someone else came along and explained further.
    Connie L and maybe like this.
  15. wellington

    wellington Well-Known Member Moderator 5 Year Member

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    But then hope they will take the time to actually read all the links your gave them. Heck, most newbies won't read the rules before posting.
    Get the info in there head while you have their attention. Be kind and helpful about it. If they are offended, then that's their problems, our problem should be for trying to help the animal, not baby sitting egos.
    RosemaryDW and Lyn W like this.
  16. wellington

    wellington Well-Known Member Moderator 5 Year Member

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    Again I disagree. Newbie number one tells you what is wrong. That's it, your good with that? Maybe it's me, but until I get to know who is who and who really knows what, I don't listen to advice from just anyone. A newbie might have great knowledge and experience, but until they have been here a while, shared their stuff, who knows what this person is really knows. No, it probably doesn't need to be said ten times, but the more that confirm the same answer, the better the person will realize that it's not just this one persons opinion and that one person that gave that opinion, may have been here for two weeks. When I was a newbie, that's not the person I wanted help from.
    RosemaryDW and AnimalLady like this.
  17. Nephelle

    Nephelle Well-Known Member

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    Personally, I feel that if the first time was clear and offered corrections that you as the reader agree with, there is no need to keep repeating the same information. Liking the comment is a thumbs up and far less intimidating than repeat posts.

    Newbs are often marked by date, number of posts and number of likes :) I am obviously a newb, and I always identify myself as a new owner in my posts (or that my tortoise is very young). When I read posts from other members in response to my questions, I always look to see who is replying and then weigh their activity level on the forums against the advice. I realize not all might do the same.

    That said, most of the advice and help I have been given has come from mods (automatic okay), or a handful of the same people in general pop with thousands of posts to their name.

    :<3:
  18. dmmj

    dmmj The member formerly known as captain awesome Moderator 5 Year Member

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    I guess I'm not as arrogant as some. If I'm doing something wrong I want to be told that's how it's always been with me.I don't have An ego in tortoise keeping.
    Lyn W, kathyth and AnimalLady like this.
  19. MPRC

    MPRC Well-Known Member

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    From the thread title I expected graphic mating photos.

    Also I like to try to be gentle when telling folks they are idiots, but that's because that is the method that I respond best to. I also have the good sense to not show you guys photos when I feed my tortoise off my dinner plate or let him run around my home office because I KNOW that it is not appropriate behavior, even though sometimes I indulge in it myself. No need to let impressionable newbies think it's okay.
  20. turtlesteve

    turtlesteve Member 5 Year Member

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    I like Will's suggestion best, but even this may be too direct. Advise given by a "position of authority" approach is often received poorly unless respect is earned prior to the advice being given. The posters are obviously tortoise lovers and will potentially keep many tortoises in the future. If they are driven off the forum, you have removed any opportunity to spread (or share) knowledge.
    Speedy-1 and Nephelle like this.
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