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Russian tortoise memory - wildcaught

Discussion in 'General Tortoise Discussion' started by wosman, Nov 12, 2011.

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  1. wosman

    wosman New Member

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    Hi everyone

    So i've had my tortoise for only 7 months and it still bothers me she was wildcaught. The thought of her just a year ago roaming around in a vast land to explore and do whatever to now be housed to what i consider to be crap in comparison to a seemingly endlessly large space. She is still shy of people (including myself) and I am wondering how good are their memories? Will she forever remember what she used to have and thinking 'frik this place sucks' or will she eventually come to see her new house as a home?

    Thanks for any help gang
  2. Laura

    Laura Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    she now has food, warmth, no predators, doesnt have to fight to survive.. her instincts are telling her to hide still tho and that YOU are a big scary predator... it will take time and patience.... if she is eating.. and knows you bring the food.. she will come around.. if you are leaving her alone and not constantly pestering her,, she will come around... she needs to see you, know you.. get to know your sounds...
    It sucks they are wild caught, and Im sure her trip here and to the pet store was not pleasant.. she is lucky to have survived..
    if you think what you have her living in is too small.. then can you make it bigger? can you set a place up outside?
  3. wosman

    wosman New Member

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    i'm currently just a grad student and since money is tight (i spend more on her food than my own haha) i figured i'd spend more time building her enclosure rather than buying it. Right now its 4x3 feet. I'm hoping when i graduate I can build a new one that's 7x5 feet.

    As for outside, i'd rather not as it's almost winter (canada) and we have raccoons and skunks n such that I would be constantly nervous about.
  4. Tom

    Tom The Dog Trainer 5 Year Member

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    Don't feel so guilty. Its all a matter of perspective. They do not think about it the way we do. Are her boundaries smaller? Yes. But as Laura pointed out, she has fresh clean nutritious food, proper temps, clean, disease and pollution free water, no predators, no internal parasites, no external parasites, no competition for food or space.

    If you had found a mangy dog running around outside and captured it against its will, fed it, got it vet treatment, gave it a good home and love, would you feel bad for the dog? I wouldn't. Wild living is harsh. 100's or 1000's die for every one that survives to adulthood. All sorts of bad things can happen to them out there. You have provided a safe haven and will do your best to offer the right conditions and diet. If I died and came back as a tortoise, I'd rather be someone's beloved pampered pet than out there on my own in the wild.

    Also, this time of year, its normal for them to hide a lot as the shorter days and cooler temps make them feel like its time to hibernate. Try hand feeding her some favorite treats once in a while and see if that helps her warm up to you.
  5. wosman

    wosman New Member

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    Thanks gang :) (made me feel much less guilty about it)
  6. cemmons12

    cemmons12 Well-Known Member

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    I agree, and the Russian is lucky to have u as well! My new Russian is shy and all that and she was captive born. But for the last 7 years she didn't get the right foods nor did she get proper care. But she is slowly coming around. She will now walk into my wifes hand, but once she is out she is still scared of everything. Just takes time I guess. Have a great day! :)
  7. Terry Allan Hall

    Terry Allan Hall Active Member

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    Some excellent points! :cool:
  8. dmmj

    dmmj The member formerly known as captain awesome Moderator 5 Year Member

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    I have 3 WC russians. All were turned into me by someone. Do they miss the wild? I can't honestyl say one way or the other. Mine have access to plentiful amounts of food and water, they get vet visits when they are sick, I protect them from predators and such. Would they prefer to be out in the wild? again I can't say but they warm up sooner or later and you will eventually see what a great pet they are, I highly doubt yours is acting because he misses his freedom (my opinion) they are shy at first and then once they realize you provide food they come out and look for you.
  9. Tony the tank

    Tony the tank Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    I believe I read a few articles regarding this...and the overall thought is animals live in the present...They do not look forward to the future...and the past comes into play through association which helps them deal with the now...

    So I would say.. No..a WC animal does not sit there having fond memories of grazing in the wild...
  10. wosman

    wosman New Member

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    ha thanks everyone. I'm hoping she freaks out less when given a soaking. Holy crap she loses it when she sees that pool of water
  11. dmmj

    dmmj The member formerly known as captain awesome Moderator 5 Year Member

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    Just FYI my long term russian (10 years) still freaks out when I soak him, I don't do it very often.
  12. lynnedit

    lynnedit Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    I soak my Russians about 1-2x per week when they are inside for the winter, because the lights tend to be drying. They don't like it, but they do like how it all 'comes out' in the end...:D
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