Welcome to my new Horsfield tortoise. She’s so cute and super tiny!
Tortoises make great pets. Considering they’re reptiles they’re actually quite easy to look after. For around 4 – 5 months of the year they sleep (when they’re old enough – when they’re really little they just go torpid but are still awake). They eat mostly weeds (with fruit and veg as treats) and pretty much look after themselves. They just need heat, UV, shelter, bedding and food and water. The only time they cause a problem is when they wake up before it’s warm enough to live in their outdoor shelter and end up wandering around my kitchen for a month or so.
We already have one Horsfield tortoise (Tabitha) but we don’t plan to keep the two together. I cannot stress this enough – tortoises are pretty much solitary animals and will fight, bite and show aggressive behaviour to each other if kept together. If a boy and girl tortoise are kept together the male will aggressively mate with the female constantly which can cause all kinds of injuries and may even result in death. Apparently two female tortoises can be kept together (we believe Voldetort is a girl but she’s a bit too little to be able to tell) but we would never house them together, especially when Voldetort is so young. Tabitha has already spotted Voldeort wandering around outside her pen and displayed ‘head bobbing’ which is basically show of aggression so at the moment we don’t let them near each other.
Tortioises are notoriously stupid and often do the funniest things. Here is Voldetort getting wedged between two rocks in my garden:
Tortoises are also amazingly strong, can run much faster than you would think and are really good at climbing. If you put them in a polystyrene box they will punch their claws into it and will climb the sides to freedom! They’re generally not aggressive to people as long as they’re used to being handled and will live in captivity for at least 80 years. They can be really fun to play with and will reward you with hours of hilarity.