Leopard Tortoise? - Paw Talk - Pet Forums
 
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 10-26-2008, 10:45 PM Thread Starter
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Leopard Tortoise?

Does anyone else on here have a leopard tortoise?

Does anyone know of any breeders in MI?

We have a 'female' 25-28 year old leopard tortoise that we have had her entire life. I believe she was an import back when it was legal. She roams around outside in our garden and goat pasture during the summer, since the large fence openings are even too small for her to fit out of, and the fencing is new and tight so she cannot escape. Each fall before the first frost, she comes inside and is kept in a rather small area to winter.

Anywho, she's a dear and we're thinking of possibly finding her a male to breed her to. However, we don't really have any luck finding such a large older male for sale in MI, we would much rather prefer to simply talk to a breeder and possibly bring her over or borrow him for a date... Not sure if tortoises can do that though.

We also say 'female' because that's what my father was advised as to her sex the one and only time she ever needed a vet many, many years ago.
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 10-27-2008, 12:06 AM
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hehe, fun! i like tortoises

I guess you should figure that out before getting it a date

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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 10-27-2008, 03:26 AM
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i always wanted a tortoise, sounds fun, do you have any pictures of her?

I would think if your not even sure what gender she is, you'll want to be doing alot more research before breeding her.



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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 10-27-2008, 05:57 AM
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Leopard tortoises are solitary animals in the wild. They don't really need other tortoises to keep them happy. In fact, another tortoise might actually be more of a stressor than a comfort.

You probably aren't ready to breed the animals, incubate the eggs and raise the young if you aren't even sure of the sex of the animal you already have. If by chance you have a small male, introducing another male will be one of the worst things you can do. Males tend to be very aggressive with each other.

There is also quarantine to think about. Most wild caughts have heavy pesticide loads and many captive animals are diseased with low level bacterial infections. If you have a healthy animal, you are risking her health by bringing in a new animal, ...that is unless you can put the new animal through a real quarantine period. With only one outside area and one inside area it sounds like this might be a challenge.

Think of a couple other things...

If you have her in a cramped area in the winter, two torts (and a big male Leopard can approach 100lbs) would be in even MORE restricted space.

What are you going to do with any offspring? As you no doubt know, they require a pretty specialized diet to keep them healthy, and they can live for well over a hundred years. Finding a responsible home that will last for several generations of humans is a tough thing to do ...at least it is if you want to be a responsible breeder. Then again, you could abandon your moral responsibility as a breeder and just sell them to anyone with a hundred bucks, or maybe to a pet store.

...and finally, you are probably going to have to find a home for her when you get older, ...having to find a home for two just doubles that.

If you are happy with the animal you have, why not just stick with that and leave the breeding to folks with better facilities, in more southern climes (where the animals can stay out most of the year).

Bob



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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 10-28-2008, 11:57 AM Thread Starter
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Incubation isn't too much of a problem. I know herp incubators are for sale online - and I've built incubators before. I do have experience with incubation with birds, and herp is similar - just a LOT longer. Yes, I'm aware of the differences.

We would of course, expand enclosures or make a new one if we got another. If outside, the tortoises have so much room to roam that it would be unlikely any fights would break out. And if they did, it would be amazingly simple to separate them to their own pastures.

As for rehoming the tortoise, she is extremely easy to care for so she'll probably never be rehomed. She gets fed just a few times during the winter, and grazes all summer, supplemented with garden foods. She gets a soak every spring and winter.

And yes, I would be sure of the sex before getting another. If we even do, it is not set in stone, we're still debating. It's just a project me and my father have considered for the past couple years.
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