Why can't my tortoises just get along?

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herbortamus

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Herbert is about 9 years old. I've had him since he was a baby. He hasn't had contact with another tortoise since I scooped him out of the tank in the pet store. Now, I've brought home a rescue(I named him Alphonse). They weren't sure of his age, but he is at least half Herbert's size.

They are both males, and I am concerned about them getting along. I just brought Alphonse home yesterday, and any contact the two have had has been supervised. See, Herbert seems to keep trying to mount Alphonse. Is he just confused? I would bet money that they are both males. Herbert will also try to nip at Alphonse, at which point I tap him on the head to stop him. I want the two of them to live together in the yard, without putting up a fence to keep them separated.

If they can't get along there are other tortoise people who wanted to take him, but I do really like him (and this could be my first step to building a sulcata army!). Anyone else have experiences with trying to get their tortoises to get along?

Here are photos. Herbert is the bigger one and Alphonse is the smaller one.
Alphonse 015.JPG
Alphonse 012.JPG
 
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JoesMum

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Firstly, you should never introduce a new tortoise until it has been through quarantine for a good 6-12 months. You don't want either to make the other sick.

Torts are largely solitary in the wild. They roam, they meet up, they mate, they move on. In captivity, the spaces are much smaller and both males and females get very protective of their home and their food. Fighting can be violent and the loser becomes withdrawn and ill and could die.

Your tort is probably extremely irritated to have to share! Two male anythings will fight when forced together, two male torts are no exception.

They must be separated and it is unlikely that they will ever live happily together.

A group of 3 or more can work... one male and more than one female... in a large enclosure with plenty of places to escape attention. Pairs rarely do, regardless of gender.
 

Yvonne G

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Hi Nicole:

I really doubt you are going to be able to "build a sulcata army." Your best chance of having sulcatas get along is for them to be raised up together from hatchlings.

When you add another tortoise to an existing tortoise, the existing tortoise will want to chase the "interloper" out of his territory.

If you have the space to introduce them in a totally separate pen, one where neither tortoise has ruled the roost, it may work that way, but in my experience, two males in the same pen just doesn't work.
 

StudentoftheReptile

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Ditto on what JoesMum and Emys said.

Pairs rarely work. Two males never work. Two males of different sizes is just asking for an accident.

They need to be separated. Period.
 

herbortamus

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Sadly, I know you guys are right. Thanks for your help. Now I must decide whether to close off a section of the yard or let someone else have him. I don't really want to do either!

And of course you can build a sulcata army! I will raise them all from babies and then mount guns on them like Blastoise!

blastoise.jpg
 
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KimandKarasi

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StudentoftheReptile said:
Ditto on what JoesMum and Emys said.

Pairs rarely work. Two males never work. Two males of different sizes is just asking for an accident.

They need to be separated. Period.

Very well put Michael! But really, I don't wee why you can't just make a fence to separate them? Do you really have to give one up?
 

Jacqui

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Like Yvonne said, raised together or even being atleast equal in size, would have given you a chance at compatibility. As it is, I don't think it will ever work out (and this from somebody who does keep pairs together including two males and several different species at that who is telling you this).

Any way you can divide up your yard?
 

Terry Allan Hall

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Like everyone has told you, they have to be seperated, or the larger will eventually cause the smaller one's death...no two ways about it!

Section off two sections of the yard (if you have enough room), or see if you might trade one off for at least two females.

Good luck with it!
 
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