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Posted: 17/09/2008 by karen

Hi, I've been told by various people that my Hermann might be lonely as he lives on his own, he seems fine but would he apreciate a friend? He's only a couple of years oldClick and drag me down to the editor.

Re: lonely??
Posted: 17/09/2008 by tpgNina

Hi Karen,

This is a difficult one. In the wild tortoises are rather solitary creatures, coming together only to mate, but many people keep pairs or groups of tortoises quite successfully. Many people say that if a tortoise stays with his siblings for a long time, then he does get lonely on his own. The problem is sex (isn't it always {g}). Your tortoise is probably too young to sex, but if he turns out to be a male, and you get a female, it is possible that he could harrass the female and stress her out (most people recommend one male to two females, so that one of the females gets a rest. Two females usually go well together, and sometimes two males are OK too, but you will need to have a large space for them so that they can establish territories. Having said all that -- it is very possible that another tortoise will live very happily with yours. Just remember if you do get him a buddy, that you will have to quarantine the new tortoise for about six months (unless you got yours from a UK breeder and the new tortoise comes from the same breeder).


Re: lonely??
Posted: 17/09/2008 by TPGDarren


I remember our first Ibera tortoise and the reaction to her two new friends. After the introduction of her companions there was a marked improvement in her activity, having previously been quite quiet. We’ve also rehomed tortoises that have been on their own for decades, their reaction to other tortoises is a lovely sight to see:-) In the wild many species of tortoise do live within close vicinity of one another, especially when the food is plentiful. Though their companion needs are as Nina has said very basic. Living in groups in the wild is advantageous when a predator is on the prowl and at night they certainly prefer to bed down with other tortoises, rather than on their own; each vying for the best spot, which is usually furthest inside a hole, leaving those on the outer edges more vulnerable.
As Nina has said – it is extremely important to ensure there is a high female to male ratio, the higher the ratio the better. We’ve 5:1 here and the males still have to be taken away at times.



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