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Behaviour change??
Posted: 30/10/2014 by JAYGEEMEE

A couple of weeks ago my usually placid 7-8 yr old indian star killed the friend she (We think female) had lived with for all but the first year of her life. The second tort was much smaller as he had been a lot slower to grow, but with no reason known. I found the larger one biting down on his head and throwing him around like a rag doll. I had to force her to let go but the other tortoise was clearly severly injured with an eye gouged out . It died within minutes. Now the remaining tortoise is eating considerably less than usual and is quite lethargic just sitting in the same spot, sometimes waggling her back legs about but mostly just still. She has bright eyes, Hubby is a medic and put a stethoscope on her, he says her breathing sounds normal. She has no lumps or bumps, her mouth is clean and pink, she has a clean dry nose. The only thing I can think is maybe she needs to lay some eggs although I doubt they would be fertile because the other tortoise was less than a quarter of her size and I wouldn't have thought he was big enough to mate her. What does anyone think am I on the right track or could I be misinterpreting all this. I have given her a deep mound of damp soil under a heat lamp just in case. Should I be doing anything else or looking for anything else. I'd really appreciate some advice or suggestions from everyone.

Re: Behaviour change??
Posted: 31/10/2014 by Tom

Hello,

Sorry to hear of this, very distressing for you.

You may be right about the eggs, females can be quite aggressive at nesting time. They prefer (understandably) to be alone when laying, for many reasons, it's a huge strain on their metabolism.
It's not a species which I keep, but I don't recall any note in the literature of such extreme aggression by a female.
There could be an environmental problem, e.g. lack of space.

Regards,
Tom

Re: Behaviour change??
Posted: 02/11/2014 by JAYGEEMEE

The table area is 5ft x 2.5 ft which I was assured by the breeder would be fine for the two until they reached maturity. I've spent a lot of time reasearching this and I can't find anything like it either. Incidentally she seems to have eaten well for the last 2 days, but no eggs laid. Is there anything else I can do except wait and see. I've kept tortoises for almost 10 years now but I've never had eggs and I'm a bit stuck on this one. How will I know when and if the time comes to call the vet in, in case she's eggbound?


 

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