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Thread: tortoise/ turtle mini emergency

  1. #1
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    Default tortoise/ turtle mini emergency

    i've never been all that into the "shelled reptiles", but i'm also not one to turn away an animal in need.

    my dad, stepmom and half sisters are in the middle of moving, and might not have a house for a while, so we're storing some of their stuff at my house for the interim. among these items is a tortoise (turtle?), i've never been able to tell the difference.

    i've known the had the little guy for a couple years, but i never really thought about it because i never go to their house. i honestly thought my sister had gotten bored and they'd given it away (their mother teaches them soooo well).

    but when i got home from work today i found the tortoise sitting in a 10 gallon tank full of orchid bark, 1 dish for food, no water, and a heat lamp. and although i cont honestly say i can tell a healthy one from a sick one, this guy doesn't look in the best of shape.

    so i'm officially taking it upon myself to get this straightened up. i have to say, im disappointed in my dad, although he's not the type to intentionally abuse an animal, and i know he thought they have been taking care of it properly. so i need to find information on the little guy and try to get him set up right so i can tell my dad how to properly care for it.

    ill get a picture up after class, but if anyone has any pointers at this time i'd be really grateful.
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    A photo will help us ID the little guy, and steer you towards the right diet. Some common species are vegetarian--like Russian tortoises and Sulcatas--while others, like the box turtle family--are omnivores and need some bugs (crickets, worms, mealworms) in their diet.

    Regardless of species, the kiddo needs a UV light for SURE, if all it has on it is a heat bulb. Good luck, and thanks for taking in a critter in need.
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    from comparing pictures online, it looks like a russian? like i said, i'm not familiar with turtles or tortoises. so looks like tomorrow i'll be looking for my uv lighting setup, and once i figure out a better way to house him i'll feel more comfortable. and after that i get to sit my dad down and have a chat. i'm really glad i didn't give my sisters a gecko now...



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    Yep. You've got yourself a male Russian tortoise there. He's clearly got some shell damage--probably because of lack of UV, although if he's been largely kept outside, that could cause it too.

    He should ideally be in a 20L cage, at smallest, and have a water bowl big enough to sit and soak in.

    He's strictly a veggie eater.

    Keep a pile of hay in the cage at all times for grazing on. Timothy is best, alfalfa is too rich. In the wild, they're primarily grass/seed eaters, so this is really the bulk of their diet.

    They should also get a nice bowl of salad once a day, consisting of:

    90-95% veggies: good green salad of dark green or red lettuces, dandelion greens, "spring mix", with goodies like chopped bell pepper, carrot, zucchini, squash, pumpkin, green beans, peas, etc mixed in. Avoid brassicas entirely (cabbage, spinach, brussel sprouts)

    5-10% fruit (no more): apples, peaches, banana (they love banana!) strawberries, etc. (Avoid tomatoes and citrus)
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    thanks for the help! i'll get him in a new setup tomorrow after work.
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    It is a Russian, but he needs to be in bare minimum 50 gallon tote. These guys need outside time, UV lighting inside. NO fruits. Spring mix is a great staple, but add grasses, weeds, and edible flowers. No other vegetables, they are strict greens and grasses. You don't want to offer too much spinach or darker greens, as they are oxalates, which can bind the calcium.

    I have two of these. The above info definitely isn't accurate.

    http://hubpages.com/hub/Russian-Tortoise
    http://hubpages.com/hub/Russian-Tortoises-Health
    http://hubpages.com/hub/Edible-Plants-for-Tortoises

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    How can you tell the sex of a tortoise? My friend's kid has a russian that grandma bought for her son's birthday and now he doesn't want it anymore after 2 months too much work. She wants to find a home for it but, I don't know how to tell what it is? Anyway tortoises are not my thing either and any advise on helping her out would be appreciated.
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    Males have long tails that drag the ground, but are typically kept curled under the body. Females have short tails.

    You can't 100% sex them till they are at least 4-5"

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    Yup, got yourself a Russian tort. GoreptiLes has giving you great advice on diet and husbandry. no fruit at all as they are high in sugar. If you hit up Walmart or a grocery store, looked for prepackaged bags of "spring mix"($3). For hydration, you can soak him in shallow lukewarm water(5-10minutes, 2-3 times a week).
    For housing, you can buy a large steralite tub(tanks are not advisable). Uvb and heat of course. If you need anymore help, hit me up via PM.
    Abe

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    atleast its not a boxturtle those guys eat EVERYTHING i know sum1 who was attacked by a box turtle because he had cheetoh powder on his fingers god we almost died of laughter but yeah they are bottomless pits then again russians (turtle of course) can eat a head of lettuce (cabbage?) in 1 sitting!
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