You're in > TPG Members Forum > Hibernation > Buying a tortoise

Buying a tortoise
Posted: 06/10/2012 by candysarah

I have wanted a tortoise for a long time now.  I went to a specialist reptile store today where they have 3 left - 2 were Horsfield Tortoise. They had another breed of tortoise (cant remember then name now) - the man in the store said that this one is a tortoise that wont hibernate and because of that he will grow a lot bigger that the Horsfield. 

Can anyone recommed what type of tortoise I should go for.  I am a bit worried about the hibernation process.

Any tips/information greatly appreciated.

Thank You

Re: Buying a tortoise
Posted: 06/10/2012 by wizzasmum

First off, it's easy to be taken in by so called specialist reptile shops. Their torts are imports, so not bred in this country. Russians/horsfields are a burrowing species and needs deep substrate. They are getting popular in stores now, as they do not need certificates and so they can tell you more or less anything about the tortoises history and you will not have anything to prove it. Most horsfields sold in these stores are grown on very fast and in no way look like a horsfield should, having thickened bumpy shells and the underlying health problems that usually go with this. Have a look at what horsfields should look like and how they should be kept. here

It sounds as though you may have been misled re the other tortoise. It's not because it does not hibernate that it grows bigger, it's because it is a bigger species - most likely redfoot (grows large and needs high humidity) or leopard or sulcata tortoise, both from the arid African grasslands and not suitable to keep in this country.

It's a sad fact that these shops will carry on selling unsuitable animals as long as no-one stops them :(  If the shop tried to sell you a vivarium for the horsfield, tell them you would be taking it back for a refund as being unfit for the purpose sold. I know they sound as though they know what they are talking about, but very few do and some are not even aware that they are giving such bad info.

Hope this helps


Re: Buying a tortoise
Posted: 06/10/2012 by wizzasmum

Meant to say that I would go for a hermann, spurthighed, marginated or horsfield, but do be aware that the horsfiled needs deeper substrate for burrowing, so needs a deeper enclosure - most breeders, myself included, will not sell to people using vivarium accomodation as they really are not suitable for anything other than forest dwweeling species such as redfoots.

Take care



web designer: