Worried about Desert Tortoise not hibernating yet

JohnnyB65

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I’ve had my tortoise for 8 or 9 years now and he has never been out so long in the season. He’s always in at the beginning of October and it’s pretty close to November now. The mornings have been in the mid 40’s F and warms up to around 80 in the afternoon but he’s still coming out in the afternoon although only long enough to warmup in the sun before going back in.

The thing that’s really bothering me is that he’s not eating at all unless he’s eating bugs inside his burrow. I don’t know that they do, but I saw a YouTube video of one eating a mouse and I’m not sure if it was actually a desert tortoise that I saw.

I really don’t want to bring him in for the winter because he’s too big and I don’t know what to do.
 

Arnold_rules

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Yvonne is correct, they definitely know when they need to go underground for their long winter slumber. Mine, granted I am in sunny AZ, has not even stopped his normal foraging. He is still eating really healthy. He is actually coming out more, taking advantage of the cooler weather, compared to our summer.

As far as eatting bugs and mice, then video you probably saw was some type of box turtle. Box turtles, and other water turtles eat protein. True tortoises are herbivores.
 

JohnnyB65

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Thanks everybody and I kind of knew that but he hasn't really eaten anything for two weeks and I hope he will have enough nutrition to last through the winter. My wife said he has nibbled on some rose petals, but she said it wasn't like eating and more like tasting.
 

ascott

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Have two men folk down here and two still up...the two still up are not receiving any supplemental food from me--tomorrow we will drop into the 30's so they will likely be coming in around night fall when it is cold....then all will go from there....I would not worry about the no eating, that is part of their process....just keep water out in the event he wants to flush and he will continue to do what he finds necessary to do....:)
 

JohnnyB65

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I happened to be home today and caught him out for a stroll so I brushed him up a little to give him a good look over and he looks healthy to me or at least as he has for years.

Tortoisetakingastroll10-30-14_1_zpsd281040a.jpg


TortoiseBrushedOff10-30-14_1_zps4de92fa7.jpg
 

Ida

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Thank you for bringing up this topic, nice-looking tortoise. I'm in Phoenix too mine is still out and about will see after today it was 40 this morning.
 

JohnnyB65

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I’ve been in San Diego over the weekend and it rained here dropping the temps. I don’t know what the low was but it’s been pretty cold since we got home.

I don’t know if he came out at all this weekend with the rain, but I was checking my security cameras through the cell phone and I never saw him, but I would have really been surprised if he came out. I’ll be home all day today and will keep my eye open him. I really hope he goes into hibernation soon so I don’t have to worry about it.

The one thing that I forgot to include when I built his new burrow this year was an infrared camera and a remote temperature probe inside his burrow. Oh well maybe I can add it after he is out for the winter without waking him.
 
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JohnnyB65

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Well it’s Nov 3 and he’s still out catching some rays with temp around 64F in the sun. I don’t have food out for him, but I guess he can eat grass if he wants. This is just so weird for him and I don’t know what to think. I wonder if it’s an age thing or maybe a temperature thing. His new burrow is a lot deeper than before and it might not be cold enough inside.

TortoiseOutinNov_1_zps62bdc489.jpg
 

dmmj

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way to warm for him to think about bruminating. gonna get warmer this week, whats a tortoise to do?
he should know when it is time to take a nap.
 

Grandpa Turtle 144

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Please don't forget torts don't have to hibernate it don't do anything good or bad for the tort . But it can be done wrong and can hurt the tort . But I do hibernate mine . Have a great tort day .
 

Ciri

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I would be concerned too. It's not his normal behavior, and that's one of the hallmarks of a sick tortoise. It's possible he's well, but as time marches on, if he is sick and not treated he could die in hibernation. If he does need treatment, earlier intervention often means easier, less expensive treatments. If it were me I'd be taking him to a reptile specialist veterinarian to make sure he's okay.

If you need to find a veterinarian I don't know if this might be helpful – it's the veterinarian info on the San Diego turtle and tortoise Society website:

http://www.sdturtle.org/public_documents/sdtts_goodandbadgardenplants.pdf#!local-vets/c377

For info on foods for desert tortoises:

http://www.desertmuseum.org/programs/tap_tortcare.php

[url]http://www.azgfd.gov/w_c/tortoise/documents/NativePlantsforDesertTortoises_2008.pdf[/URL]
 

Grandpa Turtle 144

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If the tort is sick hibernation this year should be out of the question ! Wait til next year . But you do what you think is best good luck
 

JohnnyB65

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I'm pretty sure he’s not sick, because he’s moving around and looks good. If anything it must because he doesn't like his new burrow that I built late in the fall although I have heard him inside digging against the plastic walls so I know he's working at it.

It was 39F this morning when I went to work and my wife said he has not been out all day.

Wow Ida your girl looks like she could be my tortoises sister.
 

Ida

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Good to hear.....not sick. That's a good sign eating and moving around, and even working in her inclosure. Hopefully all okay.
 
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