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  1. #1
    BPnet Veteran Crowfingers's Avatar
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    Red-Footed Tortoise Help

    Hello all, I usually only post about ball pythons, but I have some questions about this particular species. I'm going to apologize in advance for the lengthy post.

    So, I work at a Wildlife Rehabilitation Center in Virginia, and today we got in a red-footed tortoise that had been abandoned and I need some pointers on his care.
    His story: the guy who brought him to us said that while he was visiting family over Christmas he saw this tortoise out in the yard and realized that it was not a wild turtle. They took him home, did some research and realized that they could not properly care for him, then contacted us. Other than some moderate shell pyramiding he seems fine, but will be getting full veterinary work up in the morning.
    When he got to us, I also did some quick research and was hoping some one could point me in the right direction as far as husbandry and diet are concerned. I want him to be set up correctly until we can find him a forever home. His shell is about 10-11 inches from front to back, and he's almost 5 pounds.

    So far this is what I have:

    1) He is in a 4ft x 4ft pen (inside) with 2 inches of cypress/eco earth blend that is moistened
    2) One heat lamp that is reading between 89-92*F as a basking spot, another on the other end that is keeping the ambient around 76-78*F, and a repti-sun UVB bulb on a 12 hour timer
    3) He has the top of a cat litter pan as a hide that he can get into that is near enough to the heat lamp to be around 78*F, any closer and I was afraid it would melt
    4) Right now, he does not have a soaking bowl since we did not have anything big enough for him to soak, but shallow enough for him to climb into - hopefully we can find something in the morning (any suggestions on what to use is appreciated)
    5) For food tonight he got kale, romaine lettuce, tomato, cantaloupe, mazuri tortoise pellets, and 3 super-worms with calcium D3 powder

    From what I read, they are omnivorous but really lean more toward the herbivore side of things. Various sites said that they need kinds of animal protein but the frequency ranged from every day to once a month, what frequency is best? We currently also have a sulcata that was abandoned two years ago that eats the mazuri pellets but I'm not sure if a grassland tortoise pellet will also work for this guy, so If we need a different kind, please let me know. Is there anything else that is unique to this species that we should know for his care?

  2. #2
    Registered User JoshSloane's Avatar
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    Good on you for helping this guy out. I would try to get his basking spot temperature up into the mid 90s. Also, what humidity is the enclosure? Accurite makes a good thermometer/hygrometer for this purpose.

    Please do not feed torts any animal protein. They get all nutrition from a fully herbivore diet. I would concentrate on feeding spring mix, kale, turnip greens, collard greens, mustard greens, dandelion weeds, mazuri (or any high quality tort food). If he will take it you can try offering various grasses, but if he is eating the mazuri that component is taken care of. Tomatoes and other veggies and fruits should be fed only sparingly.

    What type of repti-sun bulb do you have? These bulbs lose efficacy after about 6 months. I recommend a t5 HO 10.0 bulb.

  3. #3
    BPnet Veteran hazzaram's Avatar
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    Head over to tortoiseforum.org. They have great caresheets. I haven't found the community to be very friendly but you can usually get the answers you need by digging through old posts.
    1.0 Albino Ball Python, Felix
    0.1 Yellowbelly Ball Python, Senna
    0.1 Brazilian Rainbow Boa, Willow

    0.0.0 Hermann's Tortoise

  4. #4
    Registered User JoshSloane's Avatar
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    Re: Red-Footed Tortoise Help

    Quote Originally Posted by hazzaram View Post
    Head over to tortoiseforum.org. They have great caresheets. I haven't found the community to be very friendly but you can usually get the answers you need by digging through old posts.
    You kidding me? They are ten times friendlier than this forum. The moderators over there are helpful and don't hand out biting sarcasm and condemnations.

  5. #5
    John1982's Avatar
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    Re: Red-Footed Tortoise Help

    Quote Originally Posted by JoshSloane View Post
    You kidding me? They are ten times friendlier than this forum. The moderators over there are helpful and don't hand out biting sarcasm and condemnations.
    It is a good forum with lots of good tortoise information. It's been a while since I was an active viewer so things could be different but they had their fair share of curt posters as well and some that were downright cranky. Is it possible your views are somewhat skewed since you seem to have a personal vendetta against some of the mods here? I am pretty positive they wouldn't put up with a member taking jabs and constantly criticizing their moderators though, whatever the case.

  6. #6
    Registered User JoshSloane's Avatar
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    Moderators at tortoiseforum don't fling condescending remarks and insults at new users. They also don't have hissy fits where they write unintelligible and poorly worded remarks in bold green, threatening arbitrary TOS violations the whole time.

  7. #7
    BPnet Veteran hazzaram's Avatar
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    Re: Red-Footed Tortoise Help

    Quote Originally Posted by JoshSloane View Post
    You kidding me? They are ten times friendlier than this forum. The moderators over there are helpful and don't hand out biting sarcasm and condemnations.
    I had posted about a certain species, asking politely for help regarding a few things and he basically came in and started putting me down and shaming me for not reading HIS caresheets, when I actually had and had based my entire enclosure around his suggestions. He made me feel like I was doing everything wrong and I couldn't properly take care of my tortoise even though all my parameters were within his recommendation on his caresheet. I left that forum and found a UK based species forum and got the help I needed there. They're very friendly and I'm glad I found them
    1.0 Albino Ball Python, Felix
    0.1 Yellowbelly Ball Python, Senna
    0.1 Brazilian Rainbow Boa, Willow

    0.0.0 Hermann's Tortoise

  8. #8
    Registered User JoshSloane's Avatar
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    Well I'm sorry you had that experience. Mine was completely different. I came to the tort forum with very little knowledge about sulcatas and Tom pointed me in the right direction.

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