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Help Please - New Owner


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#1 RachelK

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Posted 08 March 2016 - 09:35 PM

Hi all,

Hope you can help. We have inherited a 50 year old tortoise, I believe she is a Hermann tortoise. Currently, she is hibernating in a box in the shed of her previous home (she has always done this). Unfortunately, her owner died without updating anyone on how to wake her / when etc..

What should I do ? I need to bring her to my house but am worried this will distress her.

Can anyone advise me.

Thanks

Rachel



#2 RachelK

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Posted 08 March 2016 - 09:43 PM

This is a picture of her taken last summer

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#3 mildredsmam

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Posted 09 March 2016 - 03:46 AM

Hi all,

Hope you can help. We have inherited a 50 year old tortoise, I believe she is a Hermann tortoise. Currently, she is hibernating in a box in the shed of her previous home (she has always done this). Unfortunately, her owner died without updating anyone on how to wake her / when etc..

What should I do ? I need to bring her to my house but am worried this will distress her.

Can anyone advise me.

Thanks

Rachel

Hi Rachel, welcome to the forum. :)

Older tortoises like this normally wake them self's when the temperatures get high enough, by the sounds of things your going to have to move her to your home, moving her could cause her to wake depending on temperatures once she does wake she needs to stay awake, have you any thing in place at your home for her for when she's awake, she would benefit from some form of heat source as it's still too cold at the minute. :)



#4 RachelK

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Posted 09 March 2016 - 08:17 AM

Thanks Karen. I don't have a heat lamp but what I could do is leave her where she is and check on her daily once it warms up a bit. Websites tell me temps normally need to reach 10 or above for tortoise to wake naturally, is this correct ? I'm presuming they wake slowly so would be ok in her box until I get to her ? So excited about her arrival but so much I'm not sure of. Thanks for helping.

#5 wizzasmum

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Posted 09 March 2016 - 08:55 AM

I agree with Karen. She will be waking within the next couple of weeks anyway, which hopefully is enough time to get something in place for her. At the moment her main priority is heat for basking, so a simple farm pig lamp with a clear infra red bulb in (not a red one) will be needed. You will need to tortoise proof your garden or her area of it too. Remember also that if she has been in her previous garden for many years, it might have had a different aspect re the suns position etc, so this needs to be thought of when planning, as she will naturally seek out a favourite south facing aspect. Good luck.

#6 RachelK

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Posted 10 March 2016 - 07:55 PM

Thanks for the advise. I have checked her today and she is still fast asleep. Hopefully in a few weeks the weather will warm up and I can bring her to her new home. From the picture do you think she is a Hermann ? Thanks

#7 wizzasmum

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Posted 11 March 2016 - 01:15 AM

Need pics of underneath to be sure. When she wakes, don't give her strawberrys, they will upset the gut.

#8 RachelK

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Posted 24 March 2016 - 04:27 PM

Fred has been awake for 7 days now and seems ok, especially on the 2 warm days we have had. I am treating him as he has been, out in the garden with a warm shelter he can burrow down with. The only extra thing I have done is give him a warm bath every day. He has not eaten yet.
How does this sound ?
I have attached a picture of his underside, can you see from this if he is a boy or a girl ? Fred or Fredrica? Also claws seem so long, should I get them cut.
Thanks
Rachel

#9 RachelK

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Posted 24 March 2016 - 04:30 PM

Here are the pics.

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#10 wizzasmum

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Posted 24 March 2016 - 08:52 PM

Hi Rachel. We need clear pics of his whole plastron(underneath shell) showing tail area please. He should be eating now. Without a core temp of 30 degrees he won't have an appetite or be able to digest, so he really needs to be able to bask. Shelters without heat won't keep him warm as he is cold blooded, he needs to be able to dig into the soil and then come out to bask in the day. Without this he is losing valuable body fat. The claws look normal from what I can see. Tortoises need long claws to dig.

#11 RachelK

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Posted 25 March 2016 - 08:58 AM

Thanks Sue, will try to get a better pic.
How long per day should he bask for ? Should I do this outside or is it best to bring him in ?
Thanks

#12 wizzasmum

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Posted 25 March 2016 - 09:33 AM

If you have outdoor basking facilities at this time of year it's fine, if not, set one up indoors in as large an area as you can. Give him the choice, he knows what's best for him, but do give warm baths to encourage him to clear out his winter waste and gain an appetite.




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