1. Welcome! Are you interested in tortoises? If so, we invite you to join our community! Our community is the #1 place for tortoise keepers to talk online. Once you join you'll be able to post messages, upload pictures of your tortoise and enclosure, and discuss any tortoise topic with other tortoise keepers. Get started today!

Woolsey fire victim, need help tortoise woke up from hibernation

Discussion in 'North American Tortoises (genus Gopherus)' started by cbs, Dec 14, 2018.

Help Support Tortoise Forums by donating:

  1. cbs

    cbs New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2018
    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    7
    Trophy Points:
    3
    Location (City and/or State):
    Malibu, CA
    We’ve put her bin in a closet, that doesn’t get used. Still have it covered with a towel. There is no heat in the house, the closet is in the center of the house so it’s pretty stable in temperature.
    KarenSoCal likes this.
  2. KarenSoCal

    KarenSoCal Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2017
    Messages:
    1,792
    Likes Received:
    3,725
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location (City and/or State):
    Low desert 50 mi SE of Palm Springs CA
    Is she hibernating? Or awake daily, walking, and being fed?
  3. cbs

    cbs New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2018
    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    7
    Trophy Points:
    3
    Location (City and/or State):
    Malibu, CA
    I believe she is hibernating, although I notice she is not always in the same spot of her tub. (Would this be brumation?) Every time I look in on her she is huddled in.... we are not feeding her.
  4. KarenSoCal

    KarenSoCal Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2017
    Messages:
    1,792
    Likes Received:
    3,725
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location (City and/or State):
    Low desert 50 mi SE of Palm Springs CA
    The closet she's in is probably not as cool as 50 deg. She's brumating, but with the warmer temp she is using more of her body resources. I think dehydration is more of a threat than starvation. I would put a small pan of water in with her so she can drink if she wants. Sink it into the substrate so there's no chance of it overturning. Just something small, and keep a little water in it. Continue with not feeding anything.

    Moving around in her bin is normal. Chug is at 45 deg and he still changes position occasionally.

    @Yvonne G
    @ascott
    @wellington
    @LaLaP

    Do you agree with what I've suggested? Any other thoughts in this unusual, emergency situation?
  5. LaLaP

    LaLaP Well-Known Member Platinum Tortoise Club

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2018
    Messages:
    704
    Likes Received:
    684
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location (City and/or State):
    Portland, OR
    I really wish I knew more about this but I don't. Water seems like a very good idea and couldn't hurt.
    Could you weigh her and keep weighing her every so often to make sure she isn't losing a lot of weight?
    That's all I've got :/
    My fingers are crossed for you guys!
    KarenSoCal likes this.
  6. cbs

    cbs New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2018
    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    7
    Trophy Points:
    3
    Location (City and/or State):
    Malibu, CA
    Can we move her? Wouldn’t that disturb her hibernation?
  7. LaLaP

    LaLaP Well-Known Member Platinum Tortoise Club

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2018
    Messages:
    704
    Likes Received:
    684
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location (City and/or State):
    Portland, OR
    Hmm. I'm not sure. I just know that when they are in a deeper hibernation people will often weigh them periodically and it doesn't disturb them at all. I guess this situation is different though. I wish I knew.
  8. KarenSoCal

    KarenSoCal Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2017
    Messages:
    1,792
    Likes Received:
    3,725
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location (City and/or State):
    Low desert 50 mi SE of Palm Springs CA
    She moves around some on her own, so it shouldn't. Have her scale nearby and ready, and be quick. I think it's a good idea.
  9. ascott

    ascott Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2011
    Messages:
    16,084
    Likes Received:
    2,727
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location (City and/or State):
    Apple Valley, California
    Hi. So if the tortoise has eaten a bit then you will want to wake the tort up and set it up in a enclosure that is designed to keep a tort warm and awake....I am only suggesting this because you have a tortoise that is still young...if this was an adult full size tortoise I would say leave it be...but because you have a small/young tortoise (3 years) and still a manageable size in an indoor set up... I would certainly wake the tort and do so over a weeks period...slowly each day warm the tort and then ultimately offer a space that the tort can move from cool to warm to hot basking spot....I would also soak the tort daily in slightly warm water (tepid)...and continue to offer a few options to move from dry cold to warm to hot basking spot....I would then monitor even the most subtle activity...those will give you the hints as to what you should do next....may we see a pic of the tortoise...body and especially the face and eye areas....?
    KarenSoCal likes this.
  10. ascott

    ascott Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2011
    Messages:
    16,084
    Likes Received:
    2,727
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location (City and/or State):
    Apple Valley, California
    CDT do not hibernate....they brumate...which is different. Hibernation is a true type of sleep where there is not much movement....brumation is different in that they are more like at rest than a true sleep.... Brumating tortoise will crawl to water if they sense rain...they will come out into the warmth from time to time when there is a hot spell vs a hibernating animal (lets say like a bear, who will sleep through a variety of temps and show no interest in coming out in the warmth),.....you say that the tort is not in the same position ...this is a prime example of brumation vs hibernation...again, you are dealing with a young tortoise who does not have years of body weight in store..this is why I suggested to slowly bring the tort out of a shorter brumation period.....and set up in an awake situation....I again stand by my suggestion for waking the tort on a gradual basis and strive to warm up and get awake...
    KarenSoCal and Yvonne G like this.
  11. cbs

    cbs New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2018
    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    7
    Trophy Points:
    3
    Location (City and/or State):
    Malibu, CA
    I wanted to thank everyone for all your help. She woke up early May, and has been exploring her new yard. Eating more weeds then she used to, before we could only get her to eat collard greens and zucchini. Now she seems to prefer dandelion flowers and other weeds. We bought a wadding pool as someone suggested and bring her in at night. Again, thank you. We hope to be able to rebuild once the state is done with debris removal.

    Attached Files:

    KarenSoCal and LaLaP like this.
  12. LaLaP

    LaLaP Well-Known Member Platinum Tortoise Club

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2018
    Messages:
    704
    Likes Received:
    684
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location (City and/or State):
    Portland, OR
    So glad to hear this! People and tortoises are such resilient creatures. Sounds like you all are recovering well.
    KarenSoCal likes this.
  13. KarenSoCal

    KarenSoCal Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2017
    Messages:
    1,792
    Likes Received:
    3,725
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location (City and/or State):
    Low desert 50 mi SE of Palm Springs CA
    Oh my! Thank you so very much for the update! I've wondered what had happened.

    It's great that she's wanting weeds. Now would be a good time to slowly introduce other good foods, like grape leaves, hibiscus leaves and flowers, mulberry leaves. Of course that's if you have access to these. Take a walk around the area you're in. You never know what you might find!

    And you'll know what to plant when you rebuild!

    I'm so happy that she, and your family, are doing well. Please come back with new updates, or just to chat.
Similar Threads: Woolsey fire
Forum Title Date
North American Tortoises (genus Gopherus) Prescribed Fire Affects diurnal Vertebrate use of Gopher tortoise (Gopherus polyphemus) burrows Dec 19, 2018
North American Tortoises (genus Gopherus) Fires, Smoke & Ash Nov 17, 2008

Share This Page