A strange start to a love of tortoises.

KronksMom

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 7, 2019
Messages
348
Location (City and/or State)
Illinois
Hi everyone! I have been a long time lurker, but I suppose I should actually introduce myself. My name is Katrina and, if you couldn't guess, my tortoise's name is Kronk. He is a very handsome Russian tortoise, probably wild caught, though I really have no idea.

I have a pain condition called Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS), and over the years birthdays have not been kind to me. 3 years in a row I ended up needing emergency surgery on my birthday. So, whenever my birthday would come around, I would panic. If anyone acknowledged my birthday in any way, my anxiety would go through the roof. So, last year, my husband had an idea. He suggested that we get a pet whom I could "give my birthday to." That way, if anyone really wanted to do something about "my" birthday, they could get the pet something instead, and I could just be done with that dreaded day. So, September 2019, after much research between different pet options, we added Kronk to our small family. Given our goal of repacing my birthday, hopefully forever, a tortoise seemed the perfect fit. And a Russian tortoise fit our inexperience (though I have owned quite a few reptiles in the past, snakes and lizards, so the lighting and heat needs were not intimidating) as well as our limited space.

I know everyone wants to know how he was started and how he lives now, so here goes. Kronk was found wandering around a local park. He was recognized as non-native and posters were put up by the person who found him, but he was never claimed. Maybe someone just let him out. But knowing him, I think it's far more likely he burrowed or climbed out of an enclosure. You know Russians. The person who found him could not keep him long term, so they gave him to a local pet shop, one that takes adoptions (a mom and pop type place). They gave us the standard terrible advice, but then we found TFO! My dad is now retired, but he was a cabinet maker for years, so for Christmas Kronk got a brand new home from him, Kronk's Kastle (you know, 'cause he's a king!). The turret's are still coming, but they are going to removable, so it won't be a big deal to add them on. And they just go on the outside, so Kronk won't care either way. Kronk's Kastle is 5'x almost 3', that's the biggest we could fit for him for now. Maybe someday he will get another upgrade, but it's still a significant improvement over the 40 gallon tank we had him in while his Castle was being built. I will try to add pictures later. Right now I am on my computer at work. His house is full of cypress bark and some organic soil, and he shares his space with some bright orange pill bugs we ordered online. Also for Christmas, we got an Aerogarden, so we are now growing most of Kronk's food there. Living in an apartment about an hour outside Chicago, it's tough to find stuff outside. And he will not be able to have any kind of permanent outside space. Once it warms up some, I think I will use the kiddie pool idea I've seen some people do.

When we first got Kronk, my goal was a pet that we could set up an enclosure for and then his or her needs would be minimal. We already have a cat and a dog, and I wanted something that, if I wasn't in the mood, I could just ignore (obviously aside from feeding/giving water). What I found instead, was a friend I often refer to as my therapist. I will find myself losing hours just sitting in front of his cage, talking to him. And the reason he's such a good therapist is because he really does listen! He comes when he hears my voice. When he's startles, instead of running to a burrow, he runs towards me! Anyway, the point of all of this, is that I have come to love him much more than I ever thought I would. Much more than I thought I had room in my heart for :)
 

ZEROPILOT

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Hi everyone! I have been a long time lurker, but I suppose I should actually introduce myself. My name is Katrina and, if you couldn't guess, my tortoise's name is Kronk. He is a very handsome Russian tortoise, probably wild caught, though I really have no idea.

I have a pain condition called Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS), and over the years birthdays have not been kind to me. 3 years in a row I ended up needing emergency surgery on my birthday. So, whenever my birthday would come around, I would panic. If anyone acknowledged my birthday in any way, my anxiety would go through the roof. So, last year, my husband had an idea. He suggested that we get a pet whom I could "give my birthday to." That way, if anyone really wanted to do something about "my" birthday, they could get the pet something instead, and I could just be done with that dreaded day. So, September 2019, after much research between different pet options, we added Kronk to our small family. Given our goal of repacing my birthday, hopefully forever, a tortoise seemed the perfect fit. And a Russian tortoise fit our inexperience (though I have owned quite a few reptiles in the past, snakes and lizards, so the lighting and heat needs were not intimidating) as well as our limited space.

I know everyone wants to know how he was started and how he lives now, so here goes. Kronk was found wandering around a local park. He was recognized as non-native and posters were put up by the person who found him, but he was never claimed. Maybe someone just let him out. But knowing him, I think it's far more likely he burrowed or climbed out of an enclosure. You know Russians. The person who found him could not keep him long term, so they gave him to a local pet shop, one that takes adoptions (a mom and pop type place). They gave us the standard terrible advice, but then we found TFO! My dad is now retired, but he was a cabinet maker for years, so for Christmas Kronk got a brand new home from him, Kronk's Kastle (you know, 'cause he's a king!). The turret's are still coming, but they are going to removable, so it won't be a big deal to add them on. And they just go on the outside, so Kronk won't care either way. Kronk's Kastle is 5'x almost 3', that's the biggest we could fit for him for now. Maybe someday he will get another upgrade, but it's still a significant improvement over the 40 gallon tank we had him in while his Castle was being built. I will try to add pictures later. Right now I am on my computer at work. His house is full of cypress bark and some organic soil, and he shares his space with some bright orange pill bugs we ordered online. Also for Christmas, we got an Aerogarden, so we are now growing most of Kronk's food there. Living in an apartment about an hour outside Chicago, it's tough to find stuff outside. And he will not be able to have any kind of permanent outside space. Once it warms up some, I think I will use the kiddie pool idea I've seen some people do.

When we first got Kronk, my goal was a pet that we could set up an enclosure for and then his or her needs would be minimal. We already have a cat and a dog, and I wanted something that, if I wasn't in the mood, I could just ignore (obviously aside from feeding/giving water). What I found instead, was a friend I often refer to as my therapist. I will find myself losing hours just sitting in front of his cage, talking to him. And the reason he's such a good therapist is because he really does listen! He comes when he hears my voice. When he's startles, instead of running to a burrow, he runs towards me! Anyway, the point of all of this, is that I have come to love him much more than I ever thought I would. Much more than I thought I had room in my heart for :)
Hello and welcome
 

KronksMom

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Joined
Oct 7, 2019
Messages
348
Location (City and/or State)
Illinois
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Here are a couple pics of Kronk and a couple of Kronk's Kastle. So hard to decide which of my thousand photos to post!
 

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Quadro

Active Member
Joined
Jan 8, 2020
Messages
107
Location (City and/or State)
SC
Hi everyone! I have been a long time lurker, but I suppose I should actually introduce myself. My name is Katrina and, if you couldn't guess, my tortoise's name is Kronk. He is a very handsome Russian tortoise, probably wild caught, though I really have no idea.

I have a pain condition called Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS), and over the years birthdays have not been kind to me. 3 years in a row I ended up needing emergency surgery on my birthday. So, whenever my birthday would come around, I would panic. If anyone acknowledged my birthday in any way, my anxiety would go through the roof. So, last year, my husband had an idea. He suggested that we get a pet whom I could "give my birthday to." That way, if anyone really wanted to do something about "my" birthday, they could get the pet something instead, and I could just be done with that dreaded day. So, September 2019, after much research between different pet options, we added Kronk to our small family. Given our goal of repacing my birthday, hopefully forever, a tortoise seemed the perfect fit. And a Russian tortoise fit our inexperience (though I have owned quite a few reptiles in the past, snakes and lizards, so the lighting and heat needs were not intimidating) as well as our limited space.

I know everyone wants to know how he was started and how he lives now, so here goes. Kronk was found wandering around a local park. He was recognized as non-native and posters were put up by the person who found him, but he was never claimed. Maybe someone just let him out. But knowing him, I think it's far more likely he burrowed or climbed out of an enclosure. You know Russians. The person who found him could not keep him long term, so they gave him to a local pet shop, one that takes adoptions (a mom and pop type place). They gave us the standard terrible advice, but then we found TFO! My dad is now retired, but he was a cabinet maker for years, so for Christmas Kronk got a brand new home from him, Kronk's Kastle (you know, 'cause he's a king!). The turret's are still coming, but they are going to removable, so it won't be a big deal to add them on. And they just go on the outside, so Kronk won't care either way. Kronk's Kastle is 5'x almost 3', that's the biggest we could fit for him for now. Maybe someday he will get another upgrade, but it's still a significant improvement over the 40 gallon tank we had him in while his Castle was being built. I will try to add pictures later. Right now I am on my computer at work. His house is full of cypress bark and some organic soil, and he shares his space with some bright orange pill bugs we ordered online. Also for Christmas, we got an Aerogarden, so we are now growing most of Kronk's food there. Living in an apartment about an hour outside Chicago, it's tough to find stuff outside. And he will not be able to have any kind of permanent outside space. Once it warms up some, I think I will use the kiddie pool idea I've seen some people do.

When we first got Kronk, my goal was a pet that we could set up an enclosure for and then his or her needs would be minimal. We already have a cat and a dog, and I wanted something that, if I wasn't in the mood, I could just ignore (obviously aside from feeding/giving water). What I found instead, was a friend I often refer to as my therapist. I will find myself losing hours just sitting in front of his cage, talking to him. And the reason he's such a good therapist is because he really does listen! He comes when he hears my voice. When he's startles, instead of running to a burrow, he runs towards me! Anyway, the point of all of this, is that I have come to love him much more than I ever thought I would. Much more than I thought I had room in my heart for :)
Welcome glad to have you and kronk with us !! Love the pics such a cute little thing.
 

wellington

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Hello and Welcome. He's a cutie and I'm guessing a bit spoiled lol. If ever you want to give him a bigger enclosure you could go up and build a second level with a ramp to get to it. Many don't have the room for a minimum 4x8 foot so two levels is what they will do.
Glad your enjoying him so much and that he's helping you.
 

Yvonne G

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Welcome to the Forum, Katrina! Your dad sure did a nice job on Kronk's Kastle.
 

KronksMom

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 7, 2019
Messages
348
Location (City and/or State)
Illinois
Thanks for all the warm welcomes everyone! @wellington he definitely is spoiled! And a second level is definitely something we have discussed, I'm just still not sure how the logistics would work with lighting. That will probably be a little bit down the road.
 

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