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Thread: I think my Tortoise is depressed

  1. #1

    I think my Tortoise is depressed

    I have a fairly large (for the breed) Tortoise, Darwin, who has lived outside for a few years, and just hibernated briefly each winter.
    This year, as we approached hibernation time, he caught a cold. With tortoises this can easily go to respiratory issues and pneumonia, and it can do for them.
    So in vetís advice, I brought him in and built him an indoor playpen, sleeping zone terrarium thing, with specialist lamps and lovely reptile soil and rocks and a shrubbery etc., but in comparison to my garden itís very small.
    He is also going to miss hibernating this year, as he has to be 100% fit for that, and he has to stay indoors. This also means he may never hibernate again.

    No idea why, but I get the feeling heís a bit glum. It got me thinking about whether I could release him (no, not just into the Nottinghamshire countryside!) - i love animals and have always been unhappy with caged or contained things that shouldnít be.

    Heís a Russian, or Horsefieldís type, so central Asian naturally. I wondered if I could re-patriate him somehow..... or what to do. Itís a long old flight but wondered if I could combine it with a holiday somewhere :)
    Heís actually my young Sonís, so would need to sound him out first - but itís either that or build something outside with a heatlamp installed and get him roaming again.

    Anyway, Iím rambling, more for clarifying my own thoughts really.
    Any tortoise specialist here??


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  2. #2
    Grand Master
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    Iím sure someone on TZ will have some advice, we have at least one expert on every topic imaginable on here.

    Not sure how you can tell when a tortoise is glum or happy. As for hibernating, I could fancy that myself, spend all winter asleep and wake up in spring.

  3. #3
    Master Kirk280's Avatar
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    Just tell him to wind his neck in.

  4. #4
    Craftsman
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    Very similar thread on this tortoise forum. Yes there is a tortoise forum hahahaha :

    https://www.tortoiseforum.org/thread...pressed.79327/

  5. #5
    Grand Master VDG's Avatar
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    I'd contact Russian or Central Asian Embassy and ask if they would take him/her back. Failing that, try asking here - https://www.tortoiseforum.org/ and here http://www.shelledwarriors.co.uk/forum/ I am sure there are more online resources including pet stores who may want to buy it from you.
    Last edited by VDG; 9th October 2019 at 17:22.
    Fas est ab hoste doceri

  6. #6
    Journeyman
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    I'm certainly no expert, but I imagine re-patriating would mean you'd have to smuggle him over the border, right? The process for getting live animals through customs seems very stingy.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by JimSclavunos View Post
    I'm certainly no expert, but I imagine re-patriating would mean you'd have to smuggle him over the border, right? The process for getting live animals through customs seems very stingy.
    Agreed - I thought I would disguise him as a large brooch, and just walk through the airport.


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  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by walkerwek1958 View Post
    Iím sure someone on TZ will have some advice, we have at least one expert on every topic imaginable on here.

    Not sure how you can tell when a tortoise is glum or happy. As for hibernating, I could fancy that myself, spend all winter asleep and wake up in spring.
    Yeh, theyíre not overly expressive - but I can tell just from his idiom.... or I could be projecting onto him, and really need to be looking inward for the real issue. Who knows.

    I do use him as a sounding board, chat to him when Iím in need of a non-judgemental ear. Maybe Iím bringing him down with my negativity, man....


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  9. #9
    Has he gone into his shell?

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by notenoughwrists View Post
    Yeh, theyíre not overly expressive - but I can tell just from his idiom.... or I could be projecting onto him, and really need to be looking inward for the real issue. Who knows.

    I do use him as a sounding board, chat to him when Iím in need of a non-judgemental ear. Maybe Iím bringing him down with my negativity, man....


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    Maybe Brexit?

  11. #11
    Grand Master TheFlyingBanana's Avatar
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    I know nothing about Testudines, and I blame my school because they never tortoise.
    So clever my foot fell off.

  12. #12

    I think my Tortoise is depressed

    Quote Originally Posted by Kingstepper View Post
    Maybe Brexit?
    Possibly. He has a great friend in Europe....
    Mishell Barnier


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  13. #13
    Master
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    Lonely? What about a zoo or wildlife park with a colony of them.

  14. #14
    Craftsman
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    Quote Originally Posted by notenoughwrists View Post
    Agreed - I thought I would disguise him as a large brooch, and just walk through the airport.


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    ...or a meat pie.

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Jeremy67 View Post
    Lonely? What about a zoo or wildlife park with a colony of them.
    They tend to be quite solitary. They fight a lot with others! Not sure how but they have a decent set of tin-snips at the head end!


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  16. #16
    Craftsman
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    We hibernate ours (12 year old Hermans) in a fridge from December to February. Uk winters are it cold enough these days for them to hibernate properly in the open. From March to June he lives in a pen in the log cabin, July and August he roams around in the garden and then back in the cabin from sept to Nov.


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  17. #17
    Master
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    I wrote this in another thread a couple of days ago.

    "I have a friend who is the same age as me (70yrs) and he was given a Tortoise on his tenth birthday and it is still alive and kicking today.

    The only downside is that the thing has a positive urge to copulate in any shoes or slippers it can find."
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    If your tortoise is a male, just get a supply of clapped out old shoes and slippers from the SC and the old chap will have the time of his life. This is one occassion when henk and Cannloni may be useful to know.
    Last edited by Mick P; 9th October 2019 at 16:17.

  18. #18
    Grand Master oldoakknives's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Riley View Post
    ...or a meat pie.
    Reminds me of an old joke............
    Courage is being scared to death but saddling up anyway.

  19. #19
    I have a couple of female horsefields. Maybe he should come for a long weekend, might pick him up?

  20. #20
    The advice iíve Had is that horsfields are very sensitive to UV and really need it. If it has been absent this can cause renal harm. Did you or have you taken him to a specialist reptile vet? That would be the thing to do. Also, build an outside run, and have a house with built in heat lamp and high rated uv lamp. Feel free to pm if you want.

  21. #21
    Master
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    Hope he gets well but could be a slow recovery.

  22. #22
    Master Kirk280's Avatar
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    Perhaps itís time to shell out on some therapy?

    (He might like screamager)

  23. #23
    Grand Master 100thmonkey's Avatar
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    Has he been reading the forum!
    "When You Go Home, Tell Them Of Us And Say,
    For Their Tomorrow, We Gave Our Today"

  24. #24
    Master Xantiagib's Avatar
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    so you say "No idea why, but I get the feeling he’s a bit glum. "
    but you answered your own question with the info that you've moved him to a smallerr enclosure indoors.
    you've disrupted his routine - he simply prefers being outside in the bigger garden

    he'll get over it or get used to it the shoes idea or long weekend away is worth a try but I reckon he is just sad his normal routine place is gone - so for him its like he's moved place
    i'm not sure repatriating him will solve the depression
    Last edited by Xantiagib; 10th October 2019 at 13:53.

  25. #25
    Craftsman
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    Our two tortoises have become quite lately and not active as they were when we got them earlier this year. Least now I know other tortoise owners worry about them as much as I do about our two.

    Could it be a climate thing?

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