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Distressed tortoise
Posted: 16/04/2016 by penny marston

Hi my 9 year old tortoise normally hibernates outside as this was what he did

before I had him 4 years ago from my friend.  Last Autumn I put him in my shed
to hibernate after reading stories of rats biting their legs.  He woke up about a week and a half ago and I put him out in an Eglu for the sun for a bit.  He managed to escape.  I found him today under the conifer where he used to hibernate. I have been v worried as he has dug down again. I brought him in bathed him and put him in an indoor rabbit hutch in the warm.  I don't have any lamps.  He seems really distressed and won't stop pacing around making a slight whistling noise only when moving; I dont want to put him back in my shed in his large pen but feel I should as he is used to being free in the garden during the summer.  Help please??

Re: Distressed tortoise
Posted: 17/04/2016 by GrahamH

Hi Penny,

What species of tortoise is he? If you are unsure, send me some pictures to 

Now that your tort has woken up once you can't put him back into hibernation. You need to put him under a heat lamp to get him going and really in the UK you need an adapted shed or greenhouse to help the tortoises cope with our poor climate. It is very difficult if you don't have this setup to take proper care of them and in the long term it is likely your tortoise will decline in health, even if he manages for a few years.

There is excellent guidance on what to do here:

As the article says now that you have him up you need to get him going. Don't just put him back in hibernation.

Get in touch if you need further help and go and buy a heat lamp ASAP!



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