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Tortoise Missing For 8 Months Found


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#1 LauraBellis

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Posted 13 April 2016 - 02:59 PM

I'm looking for some advice. On around the 17th August last year I left my tortoise happily playing in the garden as it was a warm sunny day, when I tried to find him that evening he was nowhere to be found. To cut a long story short after months looking, I went to see my vet who told me not to panic, that Arthur will have just buried himself in one of the flower beds. I was inclined to believe this as I'd made sure my garden was fully secure and he couldn't escape. 

 

Over the last few weeks, I've again been going out in the garden searching for him in case he made a reappearance. I'm glad to say, I've just found him safe and well (although covered in a tonne of mud). I've bathed him, cleaned him up and tried feeding him but he wont eat which is unusual for him as he usually starts eating straight away after he wakes up. Is there anything special I should be doing? Should I take him to the vet as he has hibernated outside instead of the usual controlled conditions? 

 

Overall he looks well, there is no damage to his shell or legs. His left nostril looks like it is slightly blocked but his eyes are clear and open. I haven't seen the inside of his mouth yet as we will not eat. I've just weighed him and he has lost about 20g in weight since August. He was 795g and is now 771g. 

 

He is a 9 year old Hermann tortoise. 

 

Any help you can give would be appreciated. 



#2 Rue

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Posted 13 April 2016 - 03:34 PM

I can't give you any advice (too new to tortoises)...but I'm very happy that you've found him!  Congrats! :D



#3 pompeypoole

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Posted 13 April 2016 - 04:40 PM

A few years ago I had the same issue. One of my males, who is an exerlexcellent clumber, went missing on a hot day, not to be seen again until the following spring. No worse for ware. I kept him warm gave him a bath or 2 and he soon returned to his old self. Your tort has not lost much weight so should be OK.
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#4 Rue

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Posted 13 April 2016 - 04:54 PM

Was yours a Hermann's or a Horsfield's?

 

I am in the process of planning our outside enclosure - and want to make sure I cover all the bases.  I wil have to screen it off due to various predators in our neck of the woods.  I am leaning towards welded wire (AKA hardware cloth).  I certainly hope my Hermann's won't be able to climb!



#5 mildredsmam

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Posted 13 April 2016 - 05:05 PM

I'm looking for some advice. On around the 17th August last year I left my tortoise happily playing in the garden as it was a warm sunny day, when I tried to find him that evening he was nowhere to be found. To cut a long story short after months looking, I went to see my vet who told me not to panic, that Arthur will have just buried himself in one of the flower beds. I was inclined to believe this as I'd made sure my garden was fully secure and he couldn't escape. 

 

Over the last few weeks, I've again been going out in the garden searching for him in case he made a reappearance. I'm glad to say, I've just found him safe and well (although covered in a tonne of mud). I've bathed him, cleaned him up and tried feeding him but he wont eat which is unusual for him as he usually starts eating straight away after he wakes up. Is there anything special I should be doing? Should I take him to the vet as he has hibernated outside instead of the usual controlled conditions? 

 

Overall he looks well, there is no damage to his shell or legs. His left nostril looks like it is slightly blocked but his eyes are clear and open. I haven't seen the inside of his mouth yet as we will not eat. I've just weighed him and he has lost about 20g in weight since August. He was 795g and is now 771g. 

 

He is a 9 year old Hermann tortoise. 

 

Any help you can give would be appreciated. 

Brilliant news Laura, you must be so pleased to have him back. :)



#6 pompeypoole

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Posted 13 April 2016 - 05:30 PM

He is a hermann. He managed to work his way up a corner of his pen. It was a temporary pen as I had recently moved. He now has a permanent pen with a sheltered and heated area. No way of escape. Remember to keep any plants or obstacles away from any border.
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#7 wizzasmum

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Posted 13 April 2016 - 05:43 PM

I'm looking for some advice. On around the 17th August last year I left my tortoise happily playing in the garden as it was a warm sunny day, when I tried to find him that evening he was nowhere to be found. To cut a long story short after months looking, I went to see my vet who told me not to panic, that Arthur will have just buried himself in one of the flower beds. I was inclined to believe this as I'd made sure my garden was fully secure and he couldn't escape. 
 
Over the last few weeks, I've again been going out in the garden searching for him in case he made a reappearance. I'm glad to say, I've just found him safe and well (although covered in a tonne of mud). I've bathed him, cleaned him up and tried feeding him but he wont eat which is unusual for him as he usually starts eating straight away after he wakes up. Is there anything special I should be doing? Should I take him to the vet as he has hibernated outside instead of the usual controlled conditions? 
 
Overall he looks well, there is no damage to his shell or legs. His left nostril looks like it is slightly blocked but his eyes are clear and open. I haven't seen the inside of his mouth yet as we will not eat. I've just weighed him and he has lost about 20g in weight since August. He was 795g and is now 771g. 
 
He is a 9 year old Hermann tortoise. 
 
Any help you can give would be appreciated.



Are you offering him warm baths and heat? This is the first priority. Also he could have been around for a month or so and used up his glycogen supplies. Can you see where he was buried at all as this could give a clue as to how long he's been about. Is he moving in a straight line and not in circles at all? I wouldn't stress him out with a vets visit as unless he is going to do bloods he won't be able to tell you much. You do need to look inside his mouth though in case there is any sign of disease.

#8 wizzasmum

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Posted 13 April 2016 - 05:44 PM

Was yours a Hermann's or a Horsfield's?
 
I am in the process of planning our outside enclosure - and want to make sure I cover all the bases.  I wil have to screen it off due to various predators in our neck of the woods.  I am leaning towards welded wire (AKA hardware cloth).  I certainly hope my Hermann's won't be able to climb!


Hermanns are very good climbers and can scale wire fences easily

#9 Rue

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Posted 13 April 2016 - 06:38 PM

I need to keep weasels out - that's the predator I'm most concerned with.  The larger animals aren't as hard to deal with.  Not sure how small the mesh needs to be for that.  I will have to take a look at the supply store.

 

I hope the mesh will be too small for a tortoise toe hold.  The photos I've seen of them climbing things all seem to have a larger area for their feet.

 

Good thing I have year/s to plan...lol.



#10 wizzasmum

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Posted 13 April 2016 - 09:08 PM

Weasels can get through very small spaces, so you would need half inch mesh. Torts use their claws rather than feet, so providing there's a hole, they will get a hold. I had an adult hermanns scale a fence and a juvenile leopard tortoise climbed out of a puppy pen with ease.




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