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done a runner

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#1 Guest_yellow shell_*

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Posted 16 September 2007 - 02:48 PM

Last Saturday we put our horsfield out in his run, however we forgot he was out and went shopping. We returned 2 hours later to find he was gone, there were no burrow holes and we couldn't see how he got out his pen is surrounded by bricks.

Has anyone lost their tortoise before and what tips do you have to attract them back. (foods etc)

PS we have grassy fields next to us and are a fair distance from other houses.

will hre have burrowed near our house or do they just keep walking.

#2 Guest_Annecaroline_*

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Posted 16 September 2007 - 05:57 PM

I'm so sorry to hear your news. This happened to me a few months ago. Fleur vanished one afternoon. I took two days off of work hunting for her and found nothing. Nothing was left unturned, including the neighbours garden. One afternoon i was sitting out in the garden (about 10 days later) and she just appeared, marched out from under a tree. Once i had got her in a secure area i had a look as to were she had come from and it seemed that she had buried down is some old tree cuttings.

I do hope you find your little one. Fleur appeared in the afternoon when it was warmer. Put some food out as a way to attract. She had actually only gone about 20ft away from her pen, i thought it would have been alot further. Good luck!


#3 Guest_yellow shell_*

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Posted 16 September 2007 - 08:53 PM

[updated:LAST EDITED ON 16-09-07 AT 08:53 PM (GMT)] we didn't think that he would have gone far we'll try putting some food out, thankyou.

glad to hear you found her

#4 Guest_pies_*

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Posted 17 September 2007 - 07:56 AM

Sorry to here of your loss. Have you tried looking under any heaps of decaying grass cuttings, leaves etc. Any composting garden matter will be a warm haven for a tort.
When we had a lawn, our 2 little chaps used to stay around the edge. They don't seem to like grass very much.
Good luck with your search. Boy! are torts hard to see in undergrowth. That shell is real good camouflage.

#5 Guest_jadums_*

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Posted 17 September 2007 - 08:06 PM

dont give up

put out posters to any houses nearby, shops, newspaper and bus stops. However do not put a close up pic of ur tort on here. do not giveout your address and if possible only use a mobile number for a contact number.

Chances are the tort has buried itself as it got cold. However horsefields are really good diggers. You say that you couldnt see any holes but then torts tend to make holes. somehow they just bury themsleves and the earth looks exactly the same.

Horsefields can dig deep. My spur female has been digging every day for the last 2 wks. I have sometimes had to leave her out overnight because i cant find her. When i do eventually find her she is usually about 6 inches below the surface and i have to use a small spade to get her out.

If the tort has got out of the run then yes it will head for bushes but it will also just keep walking. If you can you need to lock of the edges of the garden. If the tort has dug down then it may come up when we get warmer weather if not it could be next yr.

If it is just hiding tho it will again pop up when the weather gets slightly warmer. Are the edges of his enclosure dug down under the ground as well? as this is advised for any tort especially horsefields that you put some sort of fencing down to about 1-2ft below the ground.

I am sure he will be fine ,just keep up the search and dont be afraid to do soem careful digging

#6 Guest_yellow shell_*

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Posted 18 September 2007 - 07:10 PM

Thanks for the suggestions I will definiteley try looking under our grass cuttings and i'll do some "careful digging" Hopefully he'll turn up soon.

My only concern is that he hasn't eaten much this year so I just don't know if he is strong enough to last the winter outside.

we'll keep searching though. if you have any tips or suggestions please post them. THANKYOU!:-)

#7 Guest_lepinsky_*

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Posted 18 September 2007 - 07:20 PM

I'm so sorry to hear about your missing tortoise. The same thing happened to me last year - a very small ibera (55g) got out of his enclosure, and despite hundreds of hours searching I never found him. Some good tips are, as people have said - put some food out - but put naughty food like tomatoes and strawberries, which aren't good for them but which they love. I had three desk lamps on extension cords making pools of light in various parts of the garden, and it didn't work for me but it might for you. They do tend to dig down under something - roots of a tree or shrub, or as someone has said - piles of leaves or compost. And if it's warm, and you think he might be moving about, lie on the ground with your head at tortoise level and peer through the undergrowth to see if you can see some movement. I know how devastating it is when this happens, so fingers crossed that your tort returns. There have been several instances of tortoises reappearing 8 or 9 months after going on the run, so don't lose hope


#8 Guest_yellow shell_*

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Posted 18 September 2007 - 09:53 PM

We've tried the naughty foods but so far no luck. the search will carry on for a few days yet. who knows he fight even appear after winter.:)

#9 Guest_pies_*

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Posted 19 September 2007 - 12:11 PM

Hi Yellow shell,
Sorry to hear you still have had no luck finding your tort. Just remember, if it gets to November and you still haven't found him, don't have a bonfire on Guy Fawkes night!!! Or any other time for that matter. Even if he isn't in the rubbish you burn, he just might be under the ground where you light it.

Good hunting


#10 Guest_yellow shell_*

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Posted 19 September 2007 - 05:14 PM

I'd never thought of that but it is a good point as we were planning to have a big bonfire this november. thankyou:)

#11 Guest_Chelsea1_*

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Posted 03 October 2007 - 02:45 PM


I am so sorry to hear your news and do hope that you manage to find your little tort. I had my four tortoises stolen this year so have obviously advertised the loss locally with the Police, Vets, Pet Shops etc but also there is a chap called John Hayward who runs the National Theft Register who you could report the loss to, he works closely with the British Chelonia Group. Don't give up hope, tortoises can hide very well in gardens and he may have "docked" for the winter, I know mine use to hide under anything including garden waste bags and indoors when they were little one managed once to get in a holdall and got transferred upstairs! I would just check the garden on sunny days in the hope that he may come out, how about putting some sand around some food so that if he comes out there would be tracks in it, just a thought. Also how about getting someone to double check where you have looked, with their shell colouring it is very easy to miss them in the garen. Sara:-(

#12 Guest_yellow shell_*

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Posted 28 October 2007 - 05:38 PM

thanks for the info, we think that he will be hibernating now so we just keep a look out on nice days and hope to find him in the spring.

#13 Guest_courtneysmum_*

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Posted 26 November 2007 - 03:50 PM

Sue xI'm new to forum and just brousing the messages, Have you found your tort? don't loose hope as One of mine 'left home' the beggining of October last year, after endless searching, posters searching surrounding gardens, only to appear back in his enclosure in March of this year..it was a real mystery how he got out or for that matter how he got back in!

#14 Guest_yellow shell_*

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Posted 07 December 2007 - 11:40 PM

haven't found him yet but are still keeping our hopes up that he may return in the spring. It really is amazing some of the stories i have heard about Torts getting out of enclosures just before winter the appearing again in the Spring time

#15 Guest_yellow shell_*

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Posted 17 February 2008 - 11:50 AM

We found him yesterday on the lawn but he was tucked in his shell and wouldn't come out, we thought he was dead but we put him in the greenhouse but he still didn't move, we came back to him after two hours and he was walking around.

We think a fox dug him out and tried to eat him, he was in the flowers near the pond no more than 4 metres away from his pen he's eating now so we just hope that he is alright now.

Thankyou for all yur help and support.:-)

#16 Guest_Jo_1984_*

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Posted 17 February 2008 - 08:08 PM

Thats great news :) :) Sounds like you found him just in time!!
Jo x

#17 Guest_yellow shell_*

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Posted 17 February 2008 - 08:53 PM

we're still shocked we can't believe he is alright after so long

#18 Guest_Annecaroline_*

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Posted 18 February 2008 - 11:24 AM

I was only thinking about whether your torty reappeared on my way to work this morning. I'm so pleased for you.


#19 Guest_yellow shell_*

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Posted 23 February 2008 - 06:18 PM

it's funny we were talking about him the day before he appeared. He is eating and behaving normally so we think he's come through it unharmed.

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