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Will a Tortoise Die if He's On His Back?

Discussion in 'Tortoise FAQs - New and need help?' started by ascott, Apr 17, 2016.

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  1. ascott

    ascott Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    A tortoise roll over is not only undignified but can be hazardous to the tortoise....their guts can press against their lungs when rolled over, this can create difficulty in breathing....if they are full of food they can choke up food which can be ingested into their lungs which is bad..remember, this is an animal that can "survive" for a long period of time without water...which then means they can linger for days before death...

    Now, if a forced captive tortoise in an enclosure rolls over there are immediate concerns --due to the size of the enclosure, exposure to the heat lamp which can rapidly overheat and kill the tortoise or a water dish that the tortoise can land in or their head land in and not able to right itself and will drowned....again, none of these are pleasant....so I would say, if you see a victim of a roll over...."gently" right the tort and not really fast as you don't know how long they have been that way and so to startle the tort is not great...also you don't want to twist the guts by a sudden grab and flip....:D
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 17, 2016
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