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russian and greeks?

Discussion in 'Russian tortoises' started by towelie200, May 22, 2012.

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  1. towelie200

    towelie200 New Member

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    Hey everyone, i was wondering if it was possible to house a male russian and a female greek together? I really want to get a baby greek tortoise so any advice would be great:)
  2. coreyc

    coreyc Active Member

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    No you should not put them together you need to get two separate enclosures for them
  3. Jacob

    Jacob New Member

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    I Wouldnt recommend it, they come from different area's where they have different disease and parasites.
  4. GeoTerraTestudo

    GeoTerraTestudo Active Member

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    Even if they don't transmit diseases to each other (which they might), they could also hybridize. I would advise against keeping such closely related species together.
  5. dmmj

    dmmj Thhe member formerly known as captain awesome Staff Member

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    If your russian is an adult, and you get a baby they should not be housed together, the adult can injure and or kill the baby even accidentally.
  6. towelie200

    towelie200 New Member

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    okay thanks guys! i was looking at greeks and they are so stinking cute..[hr]
    what about a female and male russian?
  7. GeoTerraTestudo

    GeoTerraTestudo Active Member

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    Yeah, they are very cute, but if you do get one, house it separately from the Russian.

    That's what I have: one of each. However, although I let them come into contact with each other outside, they each have their own separate pen indoors. The reason for this is that you don't really want to keep two tortoises together in an enclosure, because the more aggressive one is going to dominate the more subordinate one. This seems to be particularly true for Russians.

    If you house two males together, one is going to dominate the other one, and stress him out or even bite him and injure him. In nature, the subordinate one would just leave, but because in captivity he can't, over time he could die.

    If you house a male with a female, the male is going to try to court her a lot. Tortoises have a very rough courtship ritual, with the male bumping and biting at the female. Again, in nature, if a female comes into contact with a male every once in a while, she can handle such harassment. But in captivity, if she is trapped in a pen with one male, she could get hurt.

    If you do keep two Russians, give each one his or her own pen for safety and comfort. You can let them interact with each other from time to time, but not in a small area, because the male could injure the female.

    Another approach is to get a group of tortoises, with the females outnumbering the males. For example, one male + two or three females, or two males + 4-6 females. That way, the aggression/courtship gets spread out over multiple individuals, and no one gets the brunt of it. This is known as the dilution effect. Obviously, the more tortoises you have, the more room you are going to need.

    My two Russians aren't even sexually mature yet, but the male can be a bit too much for the female, particularly at meal times. That's why each one has its own separate enclosure indoors. When they're out in the "tortoise run," there is plenty of space, so I let them meet. It's kind of cute how they greet each other, and how the male bobs his head at the female (they're not old enough to mate, but they still pay attention to each other). Last summer the male bit the female several times, and I had to separate them. This year he is being a lot more gentle with her (maybe because she is bigger than he is now), so they're fine hanging out together outside. But I learned the hard way that they don't make good roommates. ;)
  8. JoesMum

    JoesMum Well-Known Member

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    Male Russians are not good at sharing territory or food and harass females constantly. They are one of the most aggressive species as they get older.

    Your male needs a home of his own and not company. If you get a female (Russian, not Greek) introduce them only for mating.

    Remember any newcomer must be kept in quarantine entirely separately for a good 6 months on arrival.
  9. Arizona Sulcata

    Arizona Sulcata Active Member

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    Agree with everyone else, bad idea.
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