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RE: African spurred tortoise in FL. advice?

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Posted by: EJ at Mon Feb 13 08:13:58 2012  [ Report Abuse ] [ Email Message ] [ Show All Posts by EJ ]  
   

Sulcatas (aka spurred tortoises) can tolerate wet environments very well.

They can also tolerate temperatures into the 50s easily but not cold and damp at the same time.

It would be best to make its own pen and make sure to bury the fence/wall at least 1 ft deep. They are fantastic diggers but this behavior can be subdued by providing a comfortable shelter for it.

It would do best if a heated house would be provided in the cooler months.

Here is a simple little book that will help you with all the basic questions.

http://www.amazon.com/dp/0793828988/?tag=googhydr-20&hvadid=12509178225&ref=pd_sl_6hgjs7r2zw_b

>>Hello,
>>
>>Long story short, my husband came home last night and asked me about African spurred tortoises. Turns out or neighbor just received one from a friend who got it from a friend who got it from a friend who could no longer care for it type thing. It is currently in his bedroom closet (well his parents). Given his difficult living situation right now (5 kids and him, no wife, living with parents…pretty much broke) I am sure once I go over today and explain the facts of owning one of these and that a closest is not a good environment, he will let me take the tortoise.
>>
>>What I am trying to decide is if I have the ability to take care of it, or if I should try to rehome it further South. Ok hubby says he is about 15 inches and probably 50 or 60 lbs. I have multiple turtles and have built them a Florida room with ponds and fish and plants etc, but I have never had a tortoise. I have read through care sheets and forums, but I am finding a wide variety of contradictory information.
>>
>>First question…predators and enclosure:
>>Is a tortoise that is bigger than a possum or a raccoon still in danger should they happen upon each other? I have an acre that is fully fenced, but I am trying to figure out if I would need to build him his own Florida room or if he can roam the yard safely.
>>
>>Second……..rain
>>I see they need to be kept dry. Well, if it rains, is he smart enough to go into a home on is own?
>>
>>Third……Night time temperature.
>>I see varying info on this topic. I live in North Central Florida. I would say at least 60 days the night temperature will be in the 50’s, at least 30 days it will hit the 40’s, maybe 10 times a year it will hit the high 30’s and occasionally (maybe 4 different nights) it will hit freezing. I haven’t had the guts to try hibernating my turtles so I bring them the first night it will drop below 55 and then they stay in aquariums for 3 months until I know it won’t drop below 55 again. Obviously I can’t keep him in an aquarium through the winter and since he doesn’t hibernate, I need to isolate approximately how many nights I would have to bring him in. Obviously the nights below 40 he must come in. But what about the nights between 60-40? The low temperature happens for about two hours. Basically once sun sets, it slowly starts to drop, so we are not talking a sustained low temperature, we are talking about 3 hours. Can I just let him wander a guest bedroom or bathroom on these nights?
>>
>>Anyway if someone is nice enough to advise on these points, it would really help me figure out how to proceed and if you keep one of these big guys in Florida, north of Orlando, please share about your enclosures, habits etc.
>>
>>Thanks
>>
-----
Ed @ Tortoise Keepers
Trying to keep the fun in Chelonian care


   

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