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Some advice needed
Posted: 30/03/2010 by paul W

Hello everyone

I'm in a bit of a quandry and need some help/advice. I've - thorugh a set of circumstances too complex to go into here- ended up with a male spur thigh and a returned male hermanns (Georgie was stolen last year and returned to the fold just before christmas, with the remanents of an address painted on his shell !). At the moment the house is like a demiliitarised zone with a 6" high plank seperating the two of them.

We're really hoping to introduce the two of them to each other on a peremanent basis - having the wall down would make life much easier to deal with and would hopefully, allow the two of them the maximum possible exploring space when they can't go outside.

We've tried a couple of supervised meetings over the weekend but whilst our spur thighed male just carries on eating, the little hermanns starts in at his legs and tail nipping and causing the bigger one undue stress after a while.

I know that the nipping of feet noses etc. is courtship behaviour and possibly an establishment of a pecking order but I'm wondering whether it ever settles down to a point where they could live harmoniously.

Any advice as to whether we're on a hiding to nothing and will always have to keep them seperated would be most appreciated. They both have their won tortoise tables with ramps which allow them to wander around their sections of the house when inside, but it would be nice to think that they might manage something a little more harmonious than we have at the mement.

Help and thanks in advance.


Re: Some advice needed
Posted: 30/03/2010 by tpgarlene

Hi Paul

So glad that Georgie was returned to you, good to hear a happy ending to a missing tortoise story!

Not such good news on the living arrangements Im afraid.  As they are different species, they should not live together - as you have seen, hermanns are biters, so other hermanns have toughened skin on their legs to withstand the nipping - spurs dont have this additional protection, and are vulnerable to injury.  On the other hand, spurs will often ram shells during courtship or skirmishes, they have tougher shells to cope with this, which the hermanns dont have, and I have seen some terrible shell damage caused to hermanns in this way.  The other thing is that spurs are a bit more suscepible to runny noses, especially if they get stressed, and the introduction of a hermanns could well trigger this off.

So sadly, total separation is the only option - sorry not be be able to give better news,


Arlene TPG

Re: Some advice needed
Posted: 31/03/2010 by paul W

Rats !

Thanks Arlene - whilst not the news I wanted to hear - exactly the advice I needed :D

Take care



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