The Double Life of My Amazing Pet Tortoise
My Tortoise and Me
Turtleboy Update - A Cautionary Tale
I lost Turtleboy this summer. It's still hard for me to think about but he accidentally got left out in high heat for several hours. There was shade - however even in the shade the temperature was in the eighties. Indoors I had the perfect enclosure for him but outdoors, since he was only out a few hours at a time, I was more lax. The guilt is hard to bear but I'm sharing this to warn others. I had been leaving him out for hours with partial shade but not really monitoring the shade temperature and his need for water at all times. Please be careful with your tortoises, they need access to not just shade but cool shade!
My pet named 'Turtleboy' is actually a tortoise. Luckily, he doesn't seem to have an identity crisis over his name. Little did I know that he has been leading a double life. One as a calm reptile that occasionally steps out on the town. The second as a star performer! First, let me tell you about my mild-mannered tortoise. He is a loving pet that brightens my day. When I'm walking around his tank, he actually follows me with his eyes.Turtleboy is very quiet. He semi-hibernates in the winter (we feed him during those times). He LOVES KALE!
He's the Greatest - Turtleboy!
The natural habitat of the Russian Tortoise is desert land in the Middle East and Russia. They are usually caught in the wild. This makes sense to me because my Turtleboy is always exploring and finding ways to run off. In my bedroom (which is the only room now he can be loose because of the cat), he makes a long slow journey around its perimeter and then finds a nice warm sunny spot or heater to lounge in.
Before we had a cat, Turtleboy would instinctively go towards the front door when free to roam. If we had the front door open with the screen door shut, he would bring himself up with his little pawson the glass and try to get out.We occasionally put him in the yard however watch out! Turn your head for 5 minutes and he disappears into the grass.One time I left for a few minutes and when I came back, I couldn't find him. I looked frantically. Finally some sixth sense made me look towards the road. And there he was crawling very fast along the grass between the sidewalk and the road.
Contribute to Your Tortoise Palace
Turtleboy loves his hideaway hut. With rabbit hay and lizard litter, it's a cozy habitat.
Make a Tortoise Habitat
This year we're redoing his container to be bigger and more tortoise friendly. Russian tortoises grow to about 10 inches (they're miniature) and live to about 50 years. We felt he deserved a more comfortable living area than the glass aquarium. I was inspired by this youtube video of this awesome container. If you are interested in getting a tortoise someday look at this great job he did.
Wonderful Habitat Instructions - His tortoises are lucky!
Now I'd Like to Present: - THE AMAZING TORTOISE!
A couple years ago, my daughters and their friend decided to create a small circus and have Turtleboy be the star performer. They created the stage and planned his amazing feats. Here is the home movie of their efforts. Enjoy!
The Amazing Tortoise Circus
Tortoise Shopping Mall
Containers:The general advice is to not use a glass tank because the clear glass confuses and frustrates them. I suppose you could just cover the bottom half with paper or cloth to help it.We're going to try a black plastic utility tub (concrete mixing container). The size is 36 x 24 x 8. You can the best deals at your local hardware store.
Turtleboy's Favorite Food
We've used this for years. Turtleboy loves them.
I finally got his new, bigger container together. Still working on a pool, I had a deeper one he didn't like, even when I put him in it. Trying this shallow one. Also went to his overdue appointment at the vet. Beak trimmed, nails trimmed, I found out that even though his old tank was under a window, the window glass was preventing UVB rays from reaching him. Now he has UVB and basking lamp, calcium thing to chew on and I've added clovers to his diet. He is so much happier and so am I.
Having Fun Singing - Notice We Opened Our Mouths at the Same Time
The Turtleboy Song
Here are the lyrics to my Turtleboy song, copyright 2007.
Turtleboy, Turtleboy, He's the greatest Turtleboy.
He's the greatest little turtle, He's the turtle of the world-Turtleboy !
He's the greatest turtle, He is just- the greatest little turtle he's a
Turtleboy, Turtleboy, He's the greatest--- Turtleboy!!