Joan answered my reptile question on this page on 5th October 2011 re our pet tortoise. Her answer helped us and the

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Customer: Joan answered my reptile question on this page on 5th October 2011 re our pet tortoise. Her answer helped us and the tortoise recovered well. We were very grateful. (my son thinks I'm crazy though)

Last winter the tortoise stayed in her pond because I was overseas for 3 months but this winter she (we were recently told she is a female) doesn't want to stay in the pond but wants to be inside with us all the time. She follows us around, scurrying after us like a dog and seems happiest when she is having her neck rubbed or can just snuggle up close to our feet or lie on our clothes on the floor. I am again concerned about the underfloor heating and worried she will get dehydrated again. I am putting her in the sink with warm water + Hydralite tablets (as you last advised )for 10 minutes or so every few days when she wakes up and starts to wander around again.(she sleeps for a few days every now and then under a pile of shopping bags.) A few times she has taken herself back into her pond for a few hours but always wants t o come back inside. (It has been very cold lately for Sydney)

I have tried to trick her into going into a small paper bin lined with the shopping bags and putting a barrier between it and the floor (about 1.5 inches thick) to take her way from the heat of the floor. She has stayed in there a few times but seems to prefer being directly on the floor and burrowing under the bags. My idea was that once she was asleep I could take the "tortoise house" outside, put some leaf litter in with her and find a suitable place for it near the pond and that she would get used to it and stay there.

It seems like she thinks that we are tortoises or that she is human and she seems to really "love" us--- I thought that reptiles were cold blooded and am quite confused as to her lbehaviour toward us and worried about her not eating for so long.

My main concern is that she hasn't eaten (to my Knowledge ) for over 3 months already and winter has really only just started officially, so there will be another two months to go. The weather has been really weird. She seemed to begin semi hibernation mode when it was still quite warm. I know that they are not supposed to eat when hibernating but I have offered her small pieces of raw chicken, meat or fish a few times but she doesn't want it.

Is it OK for them to go without food for as long as 6 months? If not is there any special think they like that i could tempt her with?

I am afraid we will accidentally hurt her as she is always around under our feet. Our friends all think that she is cute and absolutely amazing but it can be a nuisance at times when she is always there though I am very fond of her.

I would try to get her a mate (if I could find one as it is illegal to sell them in our state) but firstly am afraid they might attack each other and secondly I don't really want lots of little tortoises running around. I'm thinking her maternal instincts might be causing some of this odd behaviour. She seems absolutely obsessed with us. Unfortunately we don't really have the space for a decent tank & I don't like the idea of confining her in a small space anyway.

Is this sort of behaviour normal for tortoises born in captivity? (We had 2 others before who were semi tame but nothing like this! Sorry this is so long. Hope you can help again by shedding some light on this!

Thanks XXXXX
Answered by Jav917 in 10 hours 9 years ago
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Jav917
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27,324 satisfied customers

Specialities include: Reptile Veterinary, Herp Veterinary, Exotic Animal Medicine, Amphibian Veterinary

Hi Jill and welcome back,

I was looking for the history and coul not find it. Can you refresh my memory on what type of turtle she is? Once i can refresh my memory we can work out a solution for you.

Joan

Customer

Thanks Joan. I have found some information on the Internet and Apparently our tortoise is a turtle!! In fact an


"Eastern Long-necked Turtle"


 


Scientific Name: Chelodina longicollis


 




"At certain times of the year long-necks often wander in search of new homes. This often brings them in contact with roads and fatalities and injuries from motor vehicles are common. As long as there are no severe internal injuries, a cracked or broken shell may be repaired with artificial materials such as fibreglass before the animal is released back into the wild.




Also referred to as a snake-necked turtle, the eastern long-neck's shell will eventually grow to around 25cm in length, with its neck almost the same length."


 


The above was copied from the internet but --Now its me again---- Anyway there is a quite a bit of info online but there there's nothing to answer my query regarding this turtle/tortoise's "obsession" with human company. I'm very curious to know if you have ever heard of such a thing. This one seems even more loving & loyal than my pet schnauzer who lived for nearly 17years was!


 


Looking forward to hearing your view


 


Thanks JILL


 


 

Hi Jill,

Generally those people who do not understand Reptiles like you, will never know how attententive and loving they can be. Turtles and tortoises can be very devoted, attached and protective of their owners. What you are describing is not uncommon when a turtle or Reptile bonds with an owner. My biggest concern is that she is not going down completely for the hibernation period which is very important for these turtles. During that period they can go off food for months, but do need to be checked for weight loss. Torty should actually be in the pond or leaf litter by the pond hibernating. It seems Torty thinks the laundry pile is the best place. I would pick the coldest room(far away from heat vents) and set some old rags and a box with leaf litter and see if you can get her to go under. She needs that time sleeping or she will expend her fat reserves and can start loosing weight and getting ill. The only other choice would be to put her back outside where there is leaf litter and she will have to go down do to the Temps. Even with her hibernating inside it is wise to have a UVB light in the room with her. They do not give off heat but UVB rays to help keep her healthy. She should emerge sometime in October once she fully goes under for her sleep. Please let me know if you have further questions. I am always happy to assist you with any of you animal needs. I not only work with Reptiles, but dogs, cats, and small exotics. Joan

Joan41453.6295103819
Customer

Hi Joan,


 


Thanks for your info. I am quite amazed that her behaviour is normal. Obviously not many people understand this as everyone who sees her


in action is also amazed.


 


Anyway I will try to do as you suggest -- Unfortunately our garden beds are too high for her to access so I will need to contruct something that will do the trick ,leave it by the pond. and hope for the best.


 


She would then be free to roam the courtyard where there are sunny spots & rocks she can lay on if she wanted a break form hibernating


 


Assuming this works then there wouldn't need to be UVB lighting would there???


 


What do you mean when you say "she would have to go down do to the Temps"?


 


One final question -- would it be a good idea to try to source another turtle to keep her company? . I hate to think she is lonely or unhappy (but we don't need baby turtles to accidentally step on - nor do we want to subject her to possible attack from another adult turtle.)


 


Thanks JILL

Hi Jill,

She is fine alone and does not need another turtle. The temps have to drop and not fluctuate for her to go into into a full Hibernation outside. It is important that she gets the full rest if she is going to be kept outdoors and not brought inside. If she will be kept outside all the time she will need to hibernate.

If you decide to keep her inside she does not have to hibernate, but will need the UVB light and she can stay with you. It would be your choice and I think she is very happy inside and hiding under a pile of towels and to be with you. Make sure she gets plenty of soaks when inside so she does not get dehydrated. This link may help a bit about hibernation: http://www.kensingtonvet.com.au/pet-care/long-necked-turtle

Joan

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