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Is she Gravid
Posted: 24/02/2012 by pauline01

Hi I am now a little concerned last year my male tortoise would not leave the female alone. I have noticed for the past few weeks that the female seems to be unusally quiet and this past two weeks I have caught her literally trying to climb out of their enclosure, another strange thing she keeps doing is tipping the water container over making the soil wet(its one of these plastic containers that you get takeaway chinese in) I always fill it up so it quite a weight to tip. They are still in a tortoise table and this year I am planning to build a proper outdoor enclosure as I am aware that the present one is getting too small. They have a temporary enclosure outside (a Rabbit run) but it won't be much longer before that is too small. Today after trying to climb out and successfully tipping herself over I righted her but noticed she sounded like she was huffing and puffing. She calmed down after a while and is now doing her usual of hiding under the tipped up container, now I have turned the lamp off. They are both coming up to four years old. If she is possibly gravid I don't think I have anything suitable for her to lay her eggs in unless I move two juveniles in with the large male and put her in their enclosure. I don't want to do that as it is slightly smaller plus the juveniles have been to the vets for runny nose syndrome. What is my best course of action Please any advice will be gratefully accepted.

Re: Is she Gravid
Posted: 25/02/2012 by tortoise7

I would say it is highly unlikely that at the age of 4 they are sexually mature enough to successfully mate. They are not considered to be adults until the age of 10-11yrs old although in captivity maybe a little younger say 8yrs. At the age of 4 it is hard to sex your torts so they may not be male & female, can you post some pics of the cloaca(tail) so we can have a look?

Re: Is she Gravid
Posted: 16/03/2012 by pauline01

Hi Sorry to take so long getting back to you. Here are photos of both tortoise, from the top and tail. It now gets worse!! I took the advice of a vet and split the pair up, bought a new tortoise table for the male with a stand and found that the base had begun to buckle under the weight of the soil, took him out to reposition the soil and put him in with the female for a matter of about ten minutes and found her being very aggressive towards him, head butting him extremely hard. Does this mean I cannot put them back together later?

Re: Is she Gravid
Posted: 23/03/2012 by VivTPG

Hi Pauline, it does sound like they need separating or if together lots of room or much bigger table to be able to escape from one another.  Two together isnt ideal we normally say 3 females to one male but as Jane says ablove its hard to tell the sex for some years so this aggression problem comes on as they get older.  You may be able to put them together later in an outside pen, but they still have to be watched as the males always pester the females!

Regards Vivienne


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