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Introducing A New Tortoise To Another

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#1 Barny

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Posted 04 May 2018 - 10:57 AM

Hi everyone - hope you can help or advise

 

I have a 10 year old male Hermann tortoise who was brought up with a female from hatchling.

The female unfortunately failed to come out of hibernation this year and I am wondering whether a new companion/s can be introduced, 

 

Or is it a better idea to leave him on his own now?

 

Many thanks in anticipation

Barny



#2 babettebeau

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Posted 04 May 2018 - 02:30 PM

The thing I know and unsure that it will help on your question is following:

 

In the wild, tortoises do not live in herd/group together, they live in "loose colonies", i.e. they live a solitary life but their territories overlap, so they encounter each other often and go apart thereafter.

 

In captivity, it is said that it is good to have for example two tortoises together (same gender obviously for as much peace as possible), that way leaving together they know their own kind, they know that they are tortoises and exhibit better natural instinct and behaviour. Having said that, there are tortoises in captivity who live happily on their own. The good example I know of on this forum is Harry the male Hermann who is 50 years old.

 

Sabina



#3 wizzasmum

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Posted 04 May 2018 - 05:16 PM

Agree with Sabina. Sorry you lost your female. I’m guessing they lived harmoniously together, but sadly this might not be the case if you introduce another female. He would probably bully her relentlessly. If you were to introduce several females then you would be evening things up as far as the females were concerned, but you would still have to separate them for long periods as he would lose condition from his ‘activities’. Keeping him alone wont be a problem for him in the long term.

#4 Barny

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Posted 04 May 2018 - 06:30 PM

Many thanks for your comments but I can't help thinking his life will be incomplete without a companion/s

 

What would happen if I introduced a couple of hatchlings - would he see them as rivals - a bit like lions kill others offspring ! or would he accept them as babies that need looking after (paternal instincts) ??



#5 babettebeau

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Posted 04 May 2018 - 08:43 PM

The reality is that there is no paternal or maternal instincts in tortoises. That was not part of reptiles's evolution for survival.

#6 wizzasmum

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Posted 05 May 2018 - 08:38 AM

Again, have to agree with Sabina. Once they lay the eggs, that is where they leave their babies. Putting a youngster with an older one will only result in trampled babies, they have no emotional connection whatsoever. He might even bite off a head, just to see what it is (yes its happened sadly). Then you have the problem that if one or both turn out to be male, there will be fights, sometimes viciously. Just as an example, I wont sell babies to add to established older animals as 9 times out of 10 those people get back to me in the future looking to rehome one. With tortoises we have to think tortoise at all times and not mammal. Does he seem to miss the other one right now? Has he stopped eating or is he hiding away? If not Id not worry about him. You could always try introducing another adult to see what his reaction is, but with the option to return it if things dont work, but you would need more than one female.

#7 Barny

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Posted 05 May 2018 - 09:50 AM

Once again thanks very much for the info

 

He seems fine - he is eating well and looks really relaxed - perhaps he was henpecked!!!

 

I think I will leave him on his own



#8 wizzasmum

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Posted 05 May 2018 - 04:14 PM

Once again thanks very much for the info
 
He seems fine - he is eating well and looks really relaxed - perhaps he was henpecked!!!
 
I think I will leave him on his own


I would, especially with him being male ;)

#9 mildredsmam

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Posted 06 May 2018 - 02:31 AM

Once again thanks very much for the info

 

He seems fine - he is eating well and looks really relaxed - perhaps he was henpecked!!!

 

I think I will leave him on his own

Hi Barny,

I think you've made the right choice, as another thing to think about would be any new tortoise would need quarantining from him for at least 6 months, but some tortoises carry viruses that go undetected for some years and no quarantine shows this until it's too late, this can be a big factor and a risk to the male you already have, and some times it's not worth the risk.  :) 






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