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Dead or hibernating? HELP
Posted: 16/05/2011 by Jos Bennett

Ladies and gents, please help.

I got a 1 yr old HermanTortoise at Christmas and he is now housed in my bed-room is a sizeable open air unit with all the heating and well-being precautions that you suggested back then.

Until recently he has seemed very healthy and happy, is bathed in warm water daily and eats well (although he has to be helped to eat and does not eat unless this happens).

On Friday evening I found him, apparently dead in his cage, he did not respond to any stimulations including a warm water bath. We assumed this meant he had passed away. However, as it is still Monday and rigormortis is not yet evident I now wonder if he might simply be in deep hibernation? His head has definitely moved further out from his shell and his limbs all move freely to the touch but he cannot be roused and doesn't respond to a warm bath at all. He had hardly moved at all since Wednesday but did respond to bathing and fed but only a couple of bites each time.

He has leaked an extremely strong smelling liquid a couple of times during handling and lying in his box where he put him after we found him on Friday. To be honest I guess this could either be unwanted urine or simply part of the decomposition process if he has indeed died.

His eyes aren't fully shut and seem to stay that way, however he is so small it's a little difficult to judge whether they move between handling or when bathing.

As there is clearly no rigor mortis I now am completely out of ideas. I think he may be dead, but for obvious reasons have a small chink of hope that he may simply be in deep hibernation (albeit much to early).

Can anyone advise a) how I can tell and b) if he might be hibernating - what should I do to give him the best chance of survival given he is still very young and we weren't expecting hibernation approx 5 years.

Any advice will be hugely appreciated.

Best regards....

Jos Bennett

Re: Dead or hibernating? HELP
Posted: 16/05/2011 by TPGDarren

Hi Jos,

It's unlikely your tortoise has gone into hibernation as it will more than likely be too warm in your bedroom for him to do so. If he has passed on, this is usually eveident by the eyes sinking back into the skull. If you're not sure, you really need to get a vet to check him out as they may be a chance for him if he is still alive. Please let us know how you get on.


All the Best





Re: Dead or hibernating? HELP
Posted: 05/11/2011 by d.hameedi

trie washing the eyes and then giving it a warm bath then feed it and let it sleep for a while

Re: Dead or hibernating? HELP
Posted: 05/11/2011 by d.hameedi

and if that dosent wrk then give your tortoise a funereal

Re: Dead or hibernating? HELP
Posted: 06/11/2011 by d.hameedi

also no hard feelings or negative attitued

Re: Dead or hibernating? HELP
Posted: 10/11/2015 by Kaur

Pls help me my tortuous is not moving what can  I do

Re: Dead or hibernating? HELP
Posted: 05/02/2016 by I like tortoises

My tortoise has been doing the same thing but no smell or anything he will move when I touch him but barely he is like in hibernating idk what to do please help he has been sleeping for a week and is not eating or unburrowing himself he is about 3 and I have my room at 75 degrees daily and he has a heat lamp🐢 Please help!! 😭


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