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tortoise reflection
Posted: 01/10/2013 by aleta66

Hi everyone, I have a Herman tortoise she is about 9 motnhs old, I have just moved her into a larger and more secure indoor enclosure(an indoor rabbit cage) from her wooden tortoise table, I have noticed that she can see her reflection in plastic sides of the cage(it is grey) and she is climbing up the side in one corner. I know that tortoises will try and get through anything they can see through but will this reflection be bothering her? Is it likely she will think its another tortoise? (sorry if this is a silly question!) I have had to move her into this as we are getting another dog and the table was open. I also thought it would be better for her to have more room as the table was only 30 ins by 24 ins. She has been outside as much as possible during the summer in this rabbit cage. The substrate I have is tortoise life sand and topsoil. If the reflection is bothering her we have thought about putting tape on to the sides of the cage. any advice appreciated please

Re: tortoise reflection
Posted: 01/10/2013 by Tom

Hello Aleta,
Yes of course it will irritate it.
You could line it with plywood, or anything non-reflective, even cardboard for now. They are not suitable for outside. Torts need to be on a grazing area & I described to you how a a simple pen can be made, earlier this year.
In 3 or 4 years your tort. will need a wood sided enclosure of at least 15sq metres, anything less is unkind, so plan ahead for that.
As you refer to a dog, it's worth noting, for others who may read this, dogs can't be trusted with torts.

Re: tortoise reflection
Posted: 27/10/2013 by aleta66

hi Tom, thank you for your advice. I have taped over the sides now, she is settled into her new enclosure and its much safer for the dog. We don't want to take any chances. I have looked at large wooden sandpits for next year as  I am not good with DIY. I had put her outside during the day in the summer in the rabbit  cage so she was safe from the dog and we have a fox that visits, however I do realise this isn't going to be big enough for her next year and we will need to make a large fox and dog proof enclosure. I had seen enclosures for outdoors that didn't have a base but I had read on here or another forum that it wasn't a good idea for them to be on grass as it was too damp and could cause shell rot? I had seen a link on here I think about making an enclosure with slate and various layers underneath to get good drainage, I have very heavy clay soil.

Re: tortoise reflection
Posted: 29/10/2013 by Tom

Thanks for your reply Aleta,
I assure you that being on 'grass' does not cause shell rot. My babies go outside at 2 days of age in half decent weather, onto close mown untreated 'wild' lawn (in wood sided pens, with wire above).
You could use a layer of gravel to improve drainage, just an idea.
Best wishes


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