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Why not to keep 2 tortoises together - a lesson learned the hard way

Discussion in 'Tortoise FAQs - New and need help?' started by biochemnerd808, Jun 8, 2014.

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  1. slowtone

    slowtone Member

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    Although I have two torts wondering in the same garden, besides the occasional scuffle it all seems quite peaceful.
    But would agree two or more together can be like cat and dog.
  2. TechnoCheese

    TechnoCheese Well-Known Member

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    The thing is, there shouldn’t be any scuffles at all. Tortoise bullying isn’t just physical. In fact, it’s usually just mental. “Cuddling”, sitting face to face, “following”, and just being together in general are all one tortoise trying to push, stress, and chase the other out of its territory, and even just seeing each other puts a great straining them. It only gets physical when they’ve had enough.

    If by a scuffle you mean physical altercations, then they are in no way peaceful. I personally would separate them.
  3. slowtone

    slowtone Member

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    Well scuffle I mean the occasional bashing of shells, most of the time they don,t take much notice of each other.
    My garden is split into two so would be easy to separate them and watch their behaviour.
  4. Lyn W

    Lyn W Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    Yes split asap, we have had one thread recently about one tortoise biting the head off another and if I remember rightly there had only been some occasional 'scuffles' there. Horrible for the dead tort and devastating for the member who came home and found it.
    ZEROPILOT, Sleppo and TechnoCheese like this.
  5. ZEROPILOT

    ZEROPILOT Well-Known Member 5 Year Member Platinum Tortoise Club Tortoise Club

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    I've been trying to get folks on the FLORIDA TORTOISE KEEPERS group on FACEBOOK to read this.
    There are some stubborn, ignorant, S.O.B.s on that forum.
    People feeding fruit to Sulcata and placing pairs together, mixing species, etc....
    It shouldn't be about what is convenient for YOU.
    Geez.
    O.k. I feel better now.
    Thanks.:)
  6. Toddrickfl1

    Toddrickfl1 Well-Known Member Tortoise Club

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    With the Facebook groups it's pointless believe me lol. Your never going to convince them their tortoise isn't lonely.
    ZEROPILOT likes this.
  7. dorothybaez

    dorothybaez New Member 5 Year Member

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    We have 2 sulcatas. One, Pinky, that my husband bought and one, Brain (we just *had* to name him that) that was a rescue from a woman who didnt want hers anymore. We've had them both for about 15 years and didn't know when we brought Brain home that they shouldn't be together.

    They get along famously...by that I mean they pretty much totally ignore each other.

    They're roughly the same age, but Brain's growth is stunted from his very poor previous diet. Maybe that's why there haven't been any problems? Hopefully things will stay this way.

    First sign of trouble, though, they're getting separated, since Brain is so small and Pinky literally moved a piano out of his way a few days ago.
  8. Awag

    Awag New Member

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    Well, I am sad reading this because I just bought my first PAIR of tortoises. I have a male and female Hermann Tortoise... they were together in an enclosure at Petco. I bought an enclosure that is over 3 times the size of what they were in and never dreamed they would have issues. Does anyone have Hermann tortoises with a male and female together? I have seen him get bossy with her but not necessarily mean. However she seems to sleep a lot. I am worried!
  9. TammyJ

    TammyJ Well-Known Member

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    How do you define "bossy" and "mean"?
    I guess if you have the space you could separate them unless and until you want them to mate? If you do want them to mate when they are mature, then I think the sudden encounter (supervised, please!) would be more conducive to successful mating anyway, then separation again after a while? Just my thoughts. But one thing is sure: bullying is both mental and physical and the negative communication is surely stressful for both of them.
    Also, are you sure it is male and female?
  10. Gibbo83

    Gibbo83 New Member

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    7B904EDF-1CB9-4EC5-8DF9-F50E98783874.jpeg C0D3D25D-BE1F-4A85-BE8B-9C273893125E.jpeg Hi,
    Thankyou for this post! We were given 2 female horsfield torts who had been kept together for a few years after being rescued. We carried this on but after reading this I can say the behaviours shown by them are that of one bullying the other, I just thought they were getting on!! One rested its head on the other, following each other round etc.
    Seeing as they’ve been together so long would it be ok to separate them?
    Just found your forum or I’d have known a year ago when we got them! Feel bad for them now!
    My daughter named them, Flash & Turbo
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2019
    vladimir likes this.
  11. Yvonne G

    Yvonne G Old Timer TFO Admin 10 Year Member! Platinum Tortoise Club

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    They neither need nor want company. It's perfectly ok to separate them now. When you do, try to not put human emotions on them. One or both are going to look like they are missing the other, wandering around, trying to find her, etc. It's just that they've been trying for so long to chase the other tortoise away with no results she can't believe she's gone and is trying to make sure.
    KronksMom, Sleppo and Gibbo83 like this.
  12. SummerMagpie31

    SummerMagpie31 New Member

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    Coming from the fishkeeping world, after reading this thread and the posts about tortoise care from HermanniHaven, I can’t help but draw comparisons to territorial fish. (Who are similarly trapped- a popular fishkeeping analogy is “imagine you are trapped in an elevator with a bunch of people you don’t particularly like...”)

    General rules as apply to most gourami (including female bettas) and similarly species-aggressive (or mate-harassing) fish:
    One is fine.
    Two is terrible.
    Groups of five or more with a 3:1 female:male ratio, more “good” spots than animals, and a TON of space can work.


    I do not want five tortoises (yet, anyway). Append “good spots” with “hiding and basking” and it reminds me so much of managing my aquarium. Right down to once ending up with TWO aquariums after needing to separate some fish!
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