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  #21  
Old 24.05.2012, 21:00
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Re: Should I buy a tortiose?

I had a tortoise called Horace for many years who sadly got stolen - some friends of ours have had theirs for nearly 40 years.
They are really good pets and can be handed down to your children and do not require the work of say a dog.
I always remember the stress though of every year after hibernation and was always scared Horace would not make it.
Always make sure that they have lots of ventilation in their box.
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  #22  
Old 24.05.2012, 21:45
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Re: Should I buy a tortiose?

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Would you consider a rescue? A lot of people adopt them, then get rid of them when they get too big.

A land turtle looks like a great and funny pet, providing that

A) you're ready to take care of it for the next 40-60 years. Friends of mine passed on their turtles from one generation to the next. The oldest one was over 40

B) you find a way to make it hibernate. I read that putting it in the veg compartment of your fridge for a few months in winter did the trick
yes, I would consider rescue, but it'll have to be a loved one, not snappy, and my not speaking German (I just passed my A1.1 exam) I'm not really sure about asking a centre.

Obviously I am thinking long term, which is why i need to know what happens if I move back to the UK, if I can take it. I won't get one if I can't.

Last edited by MsWorWoo; 24.05.2012 at 21:51. Reason: clarification of who is not speaking German
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  #23  
Old 24.05.2012, 22:05
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Re: Should I buy a tortiose?

Why bother!!??
A papier mache substitue will provide just as much dynamism and hilarious run-about!
You could install it in ur garden and move it a few meters every night when the kids are asleep. Tidy up a few lettuce leaves.
Voila! it's feeding well.
They would never know the difference!
And when you migrate/emigrate you can just make a new identical copy, only slightly bigger, to give the illusion of growth!
Me detects a budding business opportunity here!!

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I've wanted one for a few years, but they are soo expensive in the UK, and we had cats which can be a bad thing (I've heard that tortoises hold their own).
so, before I bite the bullet does anyone know
1)Do I need a license to buy one?
2)When (if) I return to the UK would I be able to take Gonzo with me? (yes, already named it) DEFRA only talks about dogs cats and ferrets...
3)When my rental agreement says small animals, including fish and mice etc if they stay in there cage/aquarium, would that also cover tortoises in terraniums? obviously, as far as my landlord is concerned Gonzo will not come out.....
4)Is Gonzo really such a good name?
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  #24  
Old 24.05.2012, 22:10
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Re: Should I buy a tortiose?

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yes, I would consider rescue, but it'll have to be a loved one, not snappy, and my not speaking German (I just passed my A1.1 exam) I'm not really sure about asking a centre.

Obviously I am thinking long term, which is why i need to know what happens if I move back to the UK, if I can take it. I won't get one if I can't.
We were informed one could, just have to apply for the permissons (Switzerland and home country) in time - and pay for it, of course.
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  #25  
Old 24.05.2012, 22:24
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Re: Should I buy a tortiose?

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They live along time. A long time!

My mother in law bought Josephine la Tortue in 1961. She is still going strong and every time we visit, she attempts to stash la belle Josephine in our car because, much as she loves her, she's had enough! Needless to say, I am not taking Josephine over ... she doesn't do much deep hibernation through winter and can often be found against the iron hot water pipe in the spare room, rhythmically banging her shell against the pipe (usually at night).

No, funny as she is (although both my kids are scared rigid of her .. something about her claws as she scuttles over the wooden floors and tiles) I shan't be offering to adopt her.
I'd have her. I love tortoises!

We had two at home when we were growing up. We got them when the old lady neighbour died and her family was desperate to rehome them. Mum was always a sucker for waifs and strays so we had them. They were amazing. One year the bigger one escaped and we couldn't find her but suspected she was in the field somewhere at the back of the house. The following spring we had a visit from one of the neighbours on the other side of the field with Jennny. She must have hibernated over winter and continued her journey when she woke. Sadly she died a couple of years later.
Jimmy the smaller one lived happily for many years after that. He also loved to eat a slightly damp piece of bread. Mum had a small fence around a large area of garden and he roamed freely. When she found it too difficult to look after him we adopted him and took him to Belgium to live. He lived with us for 4 years before he died only about 2 years ago. We had had him for over 40 years and the old lady at least 35 before that so he was getting on a bit.
My son loved him to bits and he was very popular in the neighbourhood. He used to come(slowly) if you called his name and loved to be stroked under his chin.To this day tortoises are always referred to in our household as Jimmys.

As far as importing a tortoise to the uk is concerned I can't really help as I have only done the opposite. When we wanted to take Jimmy from Uk to Belgium we had to have a certificate from the vet obtained within the 48 hours prior to travelling to say that he was in good health and a letter from my mum stating that he was a family pet whom she had owned for 40 years and was not being exported for sale.

They are certainly not cute and cuddly but I think they can make great pets. IMO though they do need a nice garden to wander around in. I don't think they're suitable as indoor pets. (unlike terrapins which can be kept indoors in tanks but can be quite vicious and spread disease)
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  #26  
Old 24.05.2012, 22:42
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Re: Should I buy a tortiose?

OK. Thanks all for the advice. I do seiously want one, but I think that I should wait until minime is 5 and maybe we are back in the UK where I have a very weedy garden and garage for hibernation. At least it was weedy when I left, I hope my tenants are not being responsible.
Min says she would rather have a fish, like in her story book. Heathen.

I really want my Gonzo, but I want to be responsible.

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  #27  
Old 24.05.2012, 22:59
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Re: Should I buy a tortiose?

The UK is not a good climate for tortoises. Switzerland is much better. You can hibernate your tortoise in the fridge - stable temperature, above zero, safe from predators and rats.

For mobile rocks, they do make very good pets.
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  #28  
Old 25.05.2012, 00:34
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Re: Should I buy a tortiose?

Tortoise, I likes them too, cruchy on the outside and soft and chewy inside:-)
Seriously though, hibernation in the fridge? Have guests round, tell them to grab a beer from the frigde, then you hear a scream and somebody shouts something about godzilla in a can.
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  #29  
Old 25.05.2012, 09:29
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Re: Should I buy a tortiose?

Could you have one on a terrace if you didn't have a private garden - and then have some grass growing on those large saucer things you put under plant pots for them to eat? There are loads of cats, foxes, children (depending on the time of day) in the communal garden so wouldn't think it would do so well there...
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  #30  
Old 25.05.2012, 10:07
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Re: Should I buy a tortiose?

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Tortoise, I likes them too, cruchy on the outside and soft and chewy inside:-)
Seriously though, hibernation in the fridge? Have guests round, tell them to grab a beer from the frigde, then you hear a scream and somebody shouts something about godzilla in a can.
Seriously. The idea is that you have a fridge for the sole purpose (during winter) of hibernation - not that you share it with the normal foodstuffs.
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  #31  
Old 25.05.2012, 10:19
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Re: Should I buy a tortiose?

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Seriously. The idea is that you have a fridge for the sole purpose (during winter) of hibernation - not that you share it with the normal foodstuffs.
I know somebody who did that and it is supposed to be the best way to hibernate them.
When we were kids we had neither the space nor the money to buy a fridge so we just put them in a box full of newspaper up in the loft for the winter and that worked pretty well.

You can also put them in a shoebox full of soil to hibernate. This is supposed to recreate their natural habitat as the would dig down and hibernate under gound usually.

Cats and foxes are not really a danger to tortoises. Kids on the other hand ....
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  #32  
Old 25.05.2012, 12:52
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Re: Should I buy a tortiose?

From what I've heard, cats are more in danger from tortoises than a danger to them.
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