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'The male of the species!'
Posted: 17/10/2011 by Mozla

Dear All

We bought our Hermans tortoise from a UK breeder and specified 'male', but of course for tortoises, it takes some time to determine this for sure.

It was with utter shock and disbelief that this weekend I picked ours up for a routine inspection only to discover what looked like a prolapse of huge proportions.

I couldn't believe what I was seeing, this dark red, size of a leg-like thing with a pale pink inner protrusion!

As I had read another members version some time ago, it dawned on me that this was all completely natural so I held the little fella and watched to my amazement as the thing retracted itself into an almost impossible orifice in its tail.

So ours is very definitely a boy but I had one question of other owners based on this observation-

While 'it' was out, it was covered in sand/soil and then it was retracted. Will this do any harm? Will it become irritated? I just wanted to know. It is not like it could ever be cleaned!!

Comments welcome!



Re: 'The male of the species!'
Posted: 19/10/2011 by TPGDarren

I wouldn't worry about it. Whilst there is a greater risk of infection than the sand soil not being there, it would happen frequently in the wild. You could offer him baths, which would help.


Kindest Regards

Re: 'The male of the species!'
Posted: 19/10/2014 by KAB

I'm glad that I have read this question - I too was utterly shocked the first time that I saw 'Murdoch' reveal & retract his manhood. I've added a photo to show others why - & believe me this is not fully exposed! He seems to make a lot of noise, pushing up his front legs, lifting his front body (like a press up) for around 10mins - then puts all away very easily? The smaller, different species, tortoises 'Mr T' doesn't do this, although he used to mount Murdoch regularly for years, until Murdoch became too large for him to reach.

I received my two 'homeless' tortoises without any knowledge of what to do with them. I know wonder if  I'm not feeding them well enough because of the pyramiding shells? I give them lambs & rocket lettuce, dandelions & leaves, cabbage, kale, carrots & the odd tomato & strawberry. Plus I supplement with dried Komodo/T-Rex food. They sleep in a tank with heat lamp, corn base with added hay. I put them out in the garden most days, they have the whole garden if I'm home or a large run with an under cover area if I go out. I give them both warm baths - most days. They have the run of the kitchen floor in a daytime if I'm home & it's too cold outside. They seem happy with each other & always sun them selves next to each other. Could or should I do more for them? Please advise.


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