You're in > TPG Members Forum > General Off-Topic > Tortoises can survive drowning

Tortoises can survive drowning
Posted: 09/06/2009 by dewly

I have just read this article and felt that I had to share it with every one. If it saves just one torts life then it will be worth it. The article reads as follows.............

Tortoises can survive drowning. If you find a drowned  tort dont just assume it is dead. Let me tell you a true and quite remarkable story. Returning home from work one evening in June I went through my normal routine; Straight through the door, into the back garden, check the torts have put themselves away in their houses, feed the fish, head in and feed the cats. The torts - Porsche and Clover, have without fail been in their house every single evening for the past three years so when one was not there I knew that some thing was seriously wrong. I started searching the garden but with no luck. I noticed that the border at the bottom of the fish pond had moved considerably and the ivy growing from the base of the pond up and over the edge was pulled away from the surface of the sleepers. The pond is raised 2 ft off the ground. My partner began trawling the bottom of the pond and my stomach lurched as he pulled out a grey limp Porsche. She wasn't moving, her skin was soggy, her head and limbs just hung out of her shell. After a few mins sobbing I remembered an article I have seen some months earlier. I had nothing to loose. I held her head down to see if I could get water out. After water appeared to stop coming out I blew two tiny gentle breaths into her nose. I pushed her legs in and out of her shell remembering how tortoises breath as I realised the legs moving in and out could act as bellows. I did this for 3 to 4 mins and placed her down to observe a small twitching of her head. By this time my partner had got hold of the vets and they informed him that I was doing the right thing and I should carry on whilst trying to get her warm as quickly as possible. I continued the leg manoeuvre technique for a further 10 - 12 mins, then on placing her limbs into her shell water came out of her nose and mouth and she was alive!! We popped her into a box and rigged up the UV lamp, all the time speaking with the vet. She looked desperate, her neck was long and floppy with her head fallen onto the floor of the box but her limbs moved a little so I knew she was breathing, but barely. After a couple of hours her colour started to improve but her head still hung low as it did for the next day. However the following morning she looked better so I placed her in a warm sunny spot in the garden whilst I went to ring the vet to see when she could be fitted in. To my surprise when I returned to the garden she had moved herself to a more secluded but equally warm spot in the garden. She continued to improve throughout the day and in the evening we took her to the vet. On the way back from the vet she began to be sick and out came some awful smelling brown water, bile and rose petals. She recovered very quickly from this point and actually began to eat as soon as we got her home and hasn't stopped since.

We think that Porsche could have been in the water for up to 10 hours!! Your tort must be checked out by a vet as drowning can result in lung infections later on. Porsche did not need any further treatment and her weight gain this year is in line with previous years. She is eating well and has regained good health.

Check and check again if you have a pond. My pond was raised over 2 ft off the ground. Can your tort climb? Are there any gaps that they can squeeze through in order to get to their favourite food? Although your tortoise may look dead, and it may not actually be breathing do not give up! If you can get oxygen in, the heart and brain can still be alive.


Re: Tortoises can survive drowning
Posted: 09/06/2009 by Row

Thatt's incredable!  Also worth knowing thanks Julie

Re: Tortoises can survive drowning
Posted: 12/07/2010 by Bushby

wow, what a story! well done for saving her life. x

Mrs D White
Posted: 05/05/2015 by designer60

We have a Hermann tortoise and she is about 50-55 years old.  She fell into our swimming pool a few times and   managed to float but on one occasion she slipped in unseen under the pool cover.  Purely by chance someone decided to have a late swim and found her on the bottom of the pool - we had no idea how long she had been there.  I immediately took her to our vet and she soon made a perfect  recovery. A few months ago   after mating for the first time she laid 8 eggs but only one survived and it really  is a little beauty. Not bad for an old girl!!


web designer: