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My tortoise ... hates, loves, unhappy, lonely... some part of it's life.

Discussion in 'Advanced Tortoise Topics' started by Will, Nov 3, 2016.

  1. Will

    Will Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, no they don't. They are telling you something with not so emotional behavior.

    You know how we know people have emotions, because we actually feel what we feel, and can share it non-verbally with others (yeah verbally too).

    We know cats and dogs have emotions because they express them to each other and us, they make sounds based on our prompting it, and they head butt us, wag their tails etc.

    The key here is how they treat each other much much more than how they treat us. Dogs and cats are affectionate with each other and other animals.

    Emotions are a key element in social structures.

    So lets take a look see at how tortoises treat each other, lots of ramming and forcing themselves around each other, mating that by anthropocentric standards is nothing less than rape. Mating aversion by biting and ramming. Male male combat in at least some cases resulting in the 'losers' death.

    We are the tree that drops fruit and tortoises do know to go to fruiting trees, flowers plants etc. when the time is right. That's what they 'love' a reliable food source, just like you love your favorite grocery store or farmer's market.

    Pacing in front of glass indicates that the tortoise wants the view reduced. Use a green sharpie or low view blocking something. It might also be that the enclosure environmental parameters are not optimal, or it's just too small a space. The want better for survival, they don't hate you or the enclosure.

    They have needs, anything less than fulfilling them is what makes us as keepers unhappy, the tortoises just wants what it needs.

    Most tortoises are solitary players in the world. A few species have 'get-along' capabilities based on their wild counterparts needing this that are rare in the wild place, like rock shelters for pancakes, shade trees for aldabras, and localized food abundance like tropical species eating fruit under a tree.

    While I'm on a rants they are not 'breeds' but species. That is all.
    Oxalis, Fredkas, leigti and 10 others like this.
  2. Tidgy's Dad

    Tidgy's Dad Well-Known Member

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    Now, i'm not going to suggest my tortoise loves me, or hates mazuri, or ever gets lonely.
    But, like all higher animals they do have a certain amount of emotional response.
    Dogs, cats and people are all warm blooded mammals and are much more closely related to each other than tortoises are to us, it is not surprising that their emotional responses are more recognizable.
    Just because most tortoises are primarily solitary does not mean they are emotionless.
    Lots of ramming, and forcing themselves around each other etc. Lots of men (and some women) exhibit very similar behaviour, or it least where I used to hang out in the evenings at weekends. Male-male combat that may occasionally end in bloodshed. Sexual assault and rape occur even within marriage with alarming regularity even today. Some people are sociopaths, which is not normal in our society, but tortoises are natural sociopaths, it is how they are 'programmed', so comparing their behaviour to ours is in itself anthropocentric.
    Now, although we should all resist the temptation to be anthropomorphic, there is also the tendency to go in the other direction and think that animals don't feel like us, haven't the same depth of emotion, and aren't capable of this and that response. Although this is true, it doesn't mean that they don't feel to some degree and/or in a different way.
    Love is too strong a word, but tortoises will prefer one food to another, one place to the next , like the feel of the sun on their skin, or a head rub, or a shower. These are not just reactions but actual emotional preferences.
    They feel fear, pain, and contentment, why not some degree of like and dislike ?
    If the enclosure is too small they feel discontent,ie. are not happy.
    It may only need the basics to survive, but so do we. But we want more, and I put it to you, M'lud, that so do torts. Their quality of life can be greatly enhanced by varying their diet, giving them objects of interest in their enclosures and , yes, being nice to them, they (or at least some of them) 'like' head rubs and a nice sunny day.
    Just because they are solitary creatures does not mean they have no feelings.
    Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, please be nice to your tortoises, they may not love you for it, but they will be 'happier.'.
    I rest my case. :)
    Lyn W, melissah, Oxalis and 8 others like this.
  3. Tom

    Tom The Dog Trainer 5 Year Member

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    Do you feel better now?
  4. Team Gomberg

    Team Gomberg IXOYE

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    Honestly, that is one of the reasons I like having a pet tortoise. They don't have emotional requirements.

    Levi is so easy. He has all he needs in my backyard (large space to roam, grass and weeds to eat, shade, sun, water, heated shelter..) and I don't have to do anything for him. No daily walks, no daily food prep, no flea treatments, no time needed out of my day for socializing. Talk about a convenient pet! If I want to go see him, I do. If I don't have time for him, he doesn't care. I look out my kitchen window while doing dishes and see him basking in the sun or eating. He takes care of himself and doesn't need anything from me (apart from the initial set up).
    I never understand the people re homing a turtle or tortoise because they "don't have time for them". A dog, a horse, sure. They need people involved with them. But not a tortoise. I'm so happy with my single tortoise and he's "happy" too.. LOL.
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  5. Big Ol Tortoise

    Big Ol Tortoise Well-Known Member

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    YES. This is one of the many reasons why I love turtles and tortoise. I interact with my3 toed a lot so she's used to me but if I left for a month she wouldn't care.
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  6. Will

    Will Well-Known Member

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    I agree 100%.
  7. Will

    Will Well-Known Member

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    Somewhat.
  8. Big Charlie

    Big Charlie Well-Known Member

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    I feel the same way. I get happy looking out the window and seeing him grazing. He doesn't care whether I notice him or not. If I don't feel like going outside, I don't. If I want to go on vacation, he won't miss me.
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  9. bouaboua

    bouaboua Well-Known Member TFO Supporter Platinum Supporter

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    Hi Will:

    May I have your permission to translate this and post in a Chinese Tortoise forum? I will for sure, to mention where it's originated.
  10. leigti

    leigti Well-Known Member

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    I think you should translate the comment by Tidgy's dad also. I think both statements give a good overview of how people should think about tortoises.
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  11. bouaboua

    bouaboua Well-Known Member TFO Supporter Platinum Supporter

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    Absolutely.

    @Tidgy's Dad May I???
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  12. Tidgy's Dad

    Tidgy's Dad Well-Known Member

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    Of course you may, Steven.
    I would be most honoured. :)
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  13. Fredkas

    Fredkas Well-Known Member

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    Hey i would like to browse that forum, can you give me a link?

    I see the thread title and thought, "hey, Will find something to say about tortoise not so solitary animal!!! i should see it". it happens that there is no way of that :(.
    Sometimes i am thinking it is sad that we as a human love them a lot and just want they know, "be a friend with me, i am caring you." it is not gonna happen with tortoise although i am still hoping that once a while. if you imagine tortoise as a human, they would look like people who don't know how to say thanks, rape any one they feel like to, and do whatever they want without thinking too much. but they are tortoise, maybe this simple life "do as what they want" and less emotional make them live longer.
    Anyway, this "no-attachment" behavior is the reason that makes me get one of them, this makes me no need to feel guilty if i have to have a trip and leave them. they don't care, maybe they just thinking "hmmm... looks like winter/summer is coming, my food not very good and fresh this time around." but this damn human feeling once in a blue moon still wonder, "hey tort, can you just miss me a little? Give some affection."

    *my complicated unstable mammals natural feeling.
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  14. bouaboua

    bouaboua Well-Known Member TFO Supporter Platinum Supporter

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    H
    Here you go......

    http://bbs.cngui.com/forum-18-1.html

    This is the link to the Tortoise section. They also have turtles and box turtles section. Google translate are handy if you don't know how to read Chinese.
    Fredkas likes this.
  15. bouaboua

    bouaboua Well-Known Member TFO Supporter Platinum Supporter

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    Thank you Sir.
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  16. Will

    Will Well-Known Member

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    Absolutely, go ahead. Frankly I think Tidgy's dad and I wrote the same comment from different sides of the world.
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  17. bouaboua

    bouaboua Well-Known Member TFO Supporter Platinum Supporter

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    Thank you Will! !
  18. leigti

    leigti Well-Known Member

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    Kind of. But people relate to them in different ways.
  19. jcalpacagirl34

    jcalpacagirl34 New Member

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    My question is do red foot tortoises like being held by their owners?
  20. JoesMum

    JoesMum Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    As with all tortoises, the answer is that some don't mind being held.

    Some hate it, some tolerate it and they're all happiest with 4 feet on the ground.
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