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RE: Activity Level of Red Footed Tortoises..

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Posted by: tglazie at Thu Nov 15 11:01:47 2007  [ Report Abuse ] [ Email Message ] [ Show All Posts by tglazie ]  
   

I find that this really depends upon the personality of your redfoot. I have four animals in my colony that I've raised since they were hatchlings, and two that I purchased as wild caught sub adults, acclimated over a period of four years. As hatchlings, I tend to find that young redfoots spend much of their time hiding. This has a great deal to do with predation, as small tortoises in the wild (in a tropical savanna, more precisely) are easy prey for all manner of birds, mammals, and even certain large lizards and snakes. Also, young redfoots have much thinner, absorbant skin than do sulcatas and other desert dwellers, and as such, this act of hiding works to keep their water reserves in tact, very important in the savanas of Brazil, Bolivia, and Venezuela, where rain patterns are seasonally variable.

Once your redfoot gets some size to its form, then you'll notice a distinct display of personality. They tend to be curious about everything, and exhibit some hilarious behaviors that I generally do not see in sulcatas. One of my redfoots is deathly afraid of insects, for instance. Whenever she sees a pill bug or beatle crawling toward her, she bolts. My captive animals display a curiosity that generally overwhelms them, so much so that if I walk up on them while they are eating, they will stop eating and chase me down, possibly in the hope of getting something better, possibly just to see what I'm doing in their domain. I've never seen this in a sulcata, unless I actually placed my foot so close to where it couldn't be ignored. My sulcatas seem to lose their "love" for me the second I place a meal before them, hissing and spitting if I come too near, but the redfoots continue their curious chase.

My wild caught animals tend to be more withdrawn. They do not come to me for food, although they are starting to associate me with it. Whenever I enter the enclosure, they're always waiting in their shelters with their eyes on the feeding spot. Once I'm out of sight and smell range, they dash from their spots, even trying to push the others aside to get their share of the goodies. I expect that they will eventually get over this fear, but I've had a wild caught leopard tortoise for ten years now that still hides in her shell even if I'm ten feet away from her, so I can't expect too much from the wild ones. Though I can't be sure, I think I'm making progress in personalizing their habits.

Well, I hope this helps in answering your questions. The previous reply suggested a good site for care info, but I would imagine you've got that area cornered, being a keeper of leopard and sulcata tortoises. Oh yes, and anytime there is an afternoon summer downpour, place your redfoot out in it (so long as all drowning hazards eliminated). In South Texas this past summer, it rained nearly every day in June and July. All of my redfoots gained several ounces over the summer; they ate like pigs and ran about endlessly while my sulcatas wallowed in mud, wondering when the sun was going to show itself.

T.G.


   

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