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Thinking of taking on a tortoise....advice please
Posted: 10/01/2013 by Anne2213

I mentioned to a friend recently I'd always fancied owning a tortoise.
She text yesterday to say a friends mum was looking to sell her 10yr old tortoise due not not having time for it. She's looking for 120 without any cage/vivarium. I don't know if this is a reasonable price?

I've asked her to find out tortoise breed and she has said we can go see it but I'm wondering what information I should be asking the owner so am looking for advice about this.
My friend says it just lives in the living room within the house of the owner.

Thank I appreciate any advice I can get
Anne

Re: Thinking of taking on a tortoise....advice please
Posted: 10/01/2013 by wizzasmum

There are several issues to take note of here.

A tortoise that just lives in the house will not have had correct levels of uvb and most likely no D3 supplement either, both of which are critical to the good growth of a tortoise. If they are willing to sell it just like this then they are unlikely to have put into it what is needed for correct growth. Try to get a photo of it before commiting to anything. Very often tortoises kept this way have deformed, lumpy or flattened shells which is a sign of metabolic bone disease. At 10 years old it will still be growing, so be very very wary of taking on this tortoise, even if given to you with no charge. If the tortoise has not had uvb, correct feeding and supplements, then you could well lose this tortoise within a few years or at the very least, have to pay extortionate vets fees.

Another important thing to be aware of is that if this animal is listed on the CITES annexe A list, then it is illegal for them to sell it without papers. It is also illegal for you to buy it knowing this is a possibility. If it is a russian/horsfield or a leopard tortoise or others not listed, then they do not need papers but the health issues still stand.

To be absolutely honest, given the info you have been given, I would not be expecting to pay for this tortoise at all.

At 10 years of age it should be living outdoors and not in a cage and certainly not in a vivarium, so you would need to look at providing electricity to the garden for the summer months. Have a look at how I keep mine www.tortsmad.com

My advice would be to go and see it and take photos before commiting to anything and post them here or privately for more advice. If you do go ahead and take on a tortoise with MBD then you could be looking at several hundreds of pounds of vets bills.

Hope this helps

Sue

www.tortsmad.com

Re: Thinking of taking on a tortoise....advice please
Posted: 10/01/2013 by Anne2213

It is a Hermanns...they need papers (licence) I believe?
I asked my friend to ask if they had a licence and they replied no.
I have a pic on my phone I can try to add but may need to do it from comp tomo
Thanks for reply

Re: Thinking of taking on a tortoise....advice please
Posted: 10/01/2013 by Anne2213

Tried to upload image several times but it doesn't appear to have worked.
I am thinking if you are going to do this we may be better buying one from a breeder as a baby?

Re: Thinking of taking on a tortoise....advice please
Posted: 10/01/2013 by Anne2213

Haha it has worked after all

Re: Thinking of taking on a tortoise....advice please
Posted: 10/01/2013 by wizzasmum

Could do with a pic of underneath but it looks like a horsfield to me from what I can see and not a regular shaped one, so not well grown  A horsfield is normally rather flat in shape, not domed and they are a burrowing species, so you can see why this one has suffered from several years of walking around a house. Certainly does not look 10 years old either, much smaller.  Very odd selling a tortoise they are not even sure what it is. Hermanns do need paperwork and to sell one several years old, not knowing this seems very odd.

Yes, I would advise you to go to a breeder and get a baby that has had a decent start in life. Horsfields are generally around 90 for a healthy yearling. A male, even when full grown is unlikely to fetch much more than what these people are asking. I don't suppose they know the sex? If you mention what area you are in I may be able to point you in the direction of a good breeder ;)

Hope this helps

Sue

www.tortsmad.com

 

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