Jump to content


New Friend And Shell Damage

  • Please log in to reply
5 replies to this topic

#1 Darwin


    Tortoise Forum Newby

  • Member
  • Pip
  • 1 posts

Posted 30 April 2012 - 02:06 PM


New to the forum. I have kept reptiles, mostly large snakes, forever but have recently become the owner of this fella:

Attached File  DarwinFront.jpg   4.16MB   88 downloads

We've called him Charles Darwin, having recently seen the giant tortoises on the Galapagos islands.

Actually, to be more accurate we are not really his owners, more like housemates, as he lives in the garden of the house we just bought here in Italy. He was originally the pet of a boy that lived in the house two owners ago so we know that he must be over 50 years old.

As he lives here irrespective of who owns the house he has never had CITES papers and the local vets seem to think that as he's pretty much indigenous this is not a problem. In fact they advise against trying to legalise him as it would create a legal problem that currently is not there.

Naturally this does not mean we are going to let him fend for himself and we are busy learning how to make the old chap's life as comfortable as possible. We are improving his diet and building better accommodation for him. He is rewarding our efforts by coming out of hibernation and eating well.

One thing I am a little concerned about it the condition of his shell:

Attached File  DarwinShell.jpg   6.4MB   97 downloads

As you can see there are patches where the carapace seems to be eroded. The eaten away areas are dry and don't look to be currently infected. Does anyone know the probable cause: infection, sun damage, poor nutrition, dog bites, or something else entirely? and is there anything that could heal these wounds?

Thanks for any help with this,


#2 Guest_Chrissyan_*

  • Guests

Posted 30 April 2012 - 02:28 PM

Posted Image Welcome to the forum Thomas & Darwin, what a strange situation, a tortoise that is bought and sold with the house, how irresponsible of the previous 'owners'. Better late than never, he has the right owners now who will look after him. :)

If his shell doesn't seem infected in anyway, I wouldn't worry too much. Shell damage is nearly always irreversible and I am sure Darwin will have a tale or two to tell, if he could talk :) I know that he will be well looked after from now on and be on a good healthy diet. There will always be someone on here to give support and advice.

#3 mildredsmam


    Advanced Tortoise Member

  • Administrator
  • PipPipPip
  • 1,885 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:north east

Posted 30 April 2012 - 02:51 PM

hello thomas welcome to the forum you have a lovely tortoise there :) it would be hard to say what caused this, from the photo the wound does,nt look open so should be ok hopefully someone else will be along soon to give you more advice :)

#4 Freddy


    Advanced Tortoise Member

  • VIP Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 948 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:County Cavan, Ireland
  • Interests:Journalism, Amateur Radio, Astronomy, History, Literature, Music, Photography, Gardening, Conservation, Birdwatching, Tortoises.

Posted 30 April 2012 - 04:46 PM

Hi Thomas,
Welcome to the forum. Darwin does look like he has had some damage to his shell, some of it possibly due to animal bites, although as others have said it is hard to tell.
The only thing to worry about with this type of shell damage is its susceptibility to fungal or bacterial infection (treatment is usually by application of dilute iodine solution to the infected areas).
However, with Darwin, the wounds look like they are old and have well healed. Nevertheless, I would keep a close eye on this in case problems arise in the future.
Anyway, I wish you the best of luck with Darwin. Sounds like he has found a lucky owner in you. Take care Thomas.
Kind Regards

#5 jay


    Advanced Tortoise Member

  • VIP Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 389 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:walsall

Posted 30 April 2012 - 05:56 PM

Hello and welcome to the forum
How wonderful to buy a house and a tortoise comes with it,sounds like he will get lots of love and attention,take care

#6 jeanette


    Tortoise Forum Newby

  • VIP Member
  • Pip
  • 21 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Sittingbourne, kent

Posted 30 April 2012 - 07:35 PM

Darwin is gorgeous and has such a handsome face! well done for providing him with the love and care the old fella deserves x

0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users