A stroller ride to the park

Prairie Mom

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Outings with Mavis

In the short time we've had our sulcata, we've taken her to a few places and intend to keep taking her out on family outings. I have no idea how we'll manage when she is 200lbs, but we love her and are stubborn enough that we'll find a way! I'm going to attempt to snap photos whenever she goes on trips out of her yard.

Animals in our family must learn to travel and we must learn to meet their needs as we do so. Mavis has already been on wintery car trips out of state when my kids get their medical treatments at the children's hospital. We've come up with awesome car setups that incorporate car adapters and plugged in heat sources. She has spent a holiday with us visiting relatives and gets lots of loving attention and socializing at home.

She is becoming one COOL SULCATA!!! She is quite happy and habitual in her routines at home, but she is also so brave and friendly in a variety of situations. This tortoise we love continues to surprise me regularly.

Elementary School Picnic
My kids' school had an end of year picnic at a community park. Parents were encouraged to attend and we were thrilled that the school chose a park only minutes from my home. My husband and I decided to leash the dog and grab the tortoise as a surprise visit to our children's picnic.

mavis stroller.jpg
This is a double stroller that includes a standup area. I can usually squeeze three kids in it. This is the same Tupperware that Mavis takes her beloved soaks in EVERY day. She seemed perfectly at ease being put in the Tupperware.

mavis stroller eating grass.jpg
I know she isn't too stressed if she's still willing to eat:) I took this photo as the stroller was moving! She ate the whole way to the park and occasionally looked up at us and up at the tree tops that strolled by. I was pleased she filled up on our picked grass, because I didn't want her to eat much of the treated grass at the park.

mavis stroller park.jpg
I packed along hand sanitizer and had the kids clean their hands when they were done visiting her. She was shy and hid briefly in the beginning. But it really only took a few minutes for her to come out of her shell to check things out and receive the mountains of flower treats I packed along. (The rosy cheeked freckle monster on the right is one of my babies)

mavis stroller kids posing.jpg
The African Princess on the left is also my baby. I love the way Mavis took everything all in for a few minutes. By the end of our visit she was well fed, well petted, and did some exploring to the delight of a hundred or so kids that sporadically checked on her.

mavis stroller kids feeding.jpg
I packed a large grocery bag of my own weeds and home grown flowers and let the kids feed her.

mavis stroller token hug.jpg
Look at my daughter hugging my dog in the background!!! My kids thought our visit was such a sweet surprise and they felt like the life of the party showing off their beloved pets.

mavis stroller fed flower.jpg

mavis stroller lots of kids.jpg
The flowers were coming in so fast and Mavis was adorable and did her best to eat and keep up with the delicious presents.

mavis stroller dreads.jpg
The kids were delighted when Mavis would walk up to them and take the offered treats. Mavis sure put on a good show! She even showed off her huggable side and allowed me to show the kids the many ways she likes to be petted.

Many kids, parents, and teachers had lots of great questions about her. I live in a cool, dry, elevated climate with long winters where turtles and tortoise are not common at all. (It's a bit crazy to own a tortoise here!) Many kids had never interacted with a turtle or tortoise of any kind. It was a special day. And Mavis loved her treats!!!


mavis stroller home.jpg
Our stroller ride went so surprisingly well with our happy snacking tortoise inside that we intend to take her on additional rides in the future. Feel free to mock this crazy tortoise owner as you see fit ;)
 
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Lexiii

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This is so great for these kids to meet a tortoise! I never touched one until I was in my 40's.
 

DawnH

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LOVE IT! I would love to see your car set up. We are leaving for a three week road trip and I told my husband we should take Tuleo. I worry about heat though. We are heading to Chicago and Colorado and think it would be fun to make a silly blog of his travels...
 

Prairie Mom

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LOVE IT! I would love to see your car set up. We are leaving for a three week road trip and I told my husband we should take Tuleo. I worry about heat though. We are heading to Chicago and Colorado and think it would be fun to make a silly blog of his travels...
Dawn, PLEASE make a blog of his travels!!!:D

Some time this summer I'll take photos and post my set up. Meanwhile, I'll give you all the detail I can so you can test it out before your trip and make any adjustments.

This is the Tupperware that we use...
cut tort tupperware small.jpg
This storage tote is as wide as the trunk of my minivan. The luggage has to go elsewhere:) I also use this as her temporary travel home.

BEFORE THE TRIP: ***I STRONGLY SUGGEST you move your tortoise into this setup WEEKS before you travel, so Tuleo can get used to the new home and you can work out any kinks in the climate etc.

-INSIDE: I fill it with lots of Cypress Mulch and put rolled blankets/towels around the inside walls of the container just in case the roads are bumpy. She has a hide, place for food, and even a low water dish. I wet the substrate so she can keep up her nice warm humid conditions.

-ELECTRICAL: Walmart super center, Amazon, and any automotive center sells a cheap gadget called a "Power Inverter." This allows you to use regular household plugs in your car. Here's an example of one I looked up on Amazon (I have another random one I bought from Checker Auto parts)... http://www.amazon.com/dp/B004E8NL7I/?tag=exoticpetnetw-20
I didn't really understand the conversion and amount of electricity aspect, so I just went for the more powerful model.

inverter.jpg
HEAT:
I use a CHE heat lamp set on a thermostat like most people use when they're just starting out. I don't worry about light in the car, but use UVB lighting (like a mercury vapor bulb) when we've stopped over night etc.
lamp stand smaller.jpg thermostat.jpg

ALUMINUM:) -Aluminum is your friend! You must cover the sides of the hole you cut in the lid and tape the aluminum down. This is an important safety measure in case the lamp moves and touches the sides of the plastic.

Then once the CHE lamp is positioned so that it is lowered a bit into the hole in the lid of the Tupperware, I cover the lamp and everything with aluminum. The set up isn't air tight. Usually there are holes in the handles of the Tupperware and air gets under the aluminum anyway, but this really helps lock the heat and humidity inside.
aluminum top smaller.jpg
This photo was taken at a relative's house. This is what I do in the car also, but you'd only see one lamp stand for the CHE.

OTHER THINGS I BRING:

-EMERGENCY HEAT: *I pack along 10hr hand warmers just in case of emergency for people or critters. If local stores don't have them this time of year, you can buy them on amazon. http://www.amazon.com/HotHands-Hand-Warmers-Pair-Value/dp/B00D7H9LIA/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1433469070&sr=8-2&keywords=hand warmers
-A small infrared temp gun.
-Mazuri and a big stash of weeds and grass from home. You can always stop by grocery stores for greens, but it's really nice to have Mazuri and weeds for hotels etc.

I'm sure every tortoise is different, but after a while Mavis became really comfortable, used her hide, moved around as she pleased, and ate perfectly well. Drinking was harder, so I was sure to soak her at least once a day.
 

wellington

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LOVE IT! I would love to see your car set up. We are leaving for a three week road trip and I told my husband we should take Tuleo. I worry about heat though. We are heading to Chicago and Colorado and think it would be fun to make a silly blog of his travels...
I don't know Colorado weather, but Chicago will be fine, as far as heat. There shouldn't be any added heat needed. Have fun, it's a fantastic city.
 

wellington

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Always be careful of the gorund you let your tort graze on. If you don't know if it's been treated with anything, then play it safe and keep him/her off of it.
 

Prairie Mom

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Always be careful of the gorund you let your tort graze on. If you don't know if it's been treated with anything, then play it safe and keep him/her off of it.
Thanks Wellington. You're right. I can only assume the grass at the park was treated, so we packed our own weeds, grass, and flowers from home. She also had a warm bath once we got to the house. I'm hoping that was enough.
 

DawnH

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We go to Chicago every year (that is where my husband is from) and this 3300 mile road trip will be to pin down where we want to move (also visiting family in WI.) I think my biggest concern is it looks like our 10 month old foster twins will still be with us (we were hoping their court case would be settled by then so they could get home but it has all gone to pot thanks to their mom and drugs but that is a different story that requires a margarita or two.) ANYWAYS, it will be our 7 year old, 11 year old and twin babies. Not sure if I should add one more thing to our 3300 mile plate...lol.

I DO think it would be hilarious fun though. I drive a suburban so we will have all our gear, baby gear, double stroller, etc. Not sure if I can swing another big thing.

Hhmmmm.....

(And won't he need heat at night? We just use a flood bulb for basking and CHE for night time. No MVB since he is outside all day.)
 

Prairie Mom

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(And won't he need heat at night? We just use a flood bulb for basking and CHE for night time. No MVB since he is outside all day.)
Sounds like you have your hands full. :)
When I travel I just stick to the bare minimum and only pack a CHE lamp and a separate lamp for a bulb that provides UVB and a slightly warmer spot. While driving (in typically cold weather thus far) I use only the CHE (which provides no light) and let the ride be relatively dark. When I've stopped and the tortoise container is inside a room, I use a CHE AND UVB light. The UVB light fixture gets turned off at night, but the CHE is still on a thermostat to turn heat on when needed night or day without providing a light source.
 

Yvonne G

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You're on the way to having a very humanized tortoise, similar to Bob, Maggie3fan's sulcata. She also takes him places and allows human interaction. I enjoyed your pictorial. Thanks.
 

Cfr200

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My tortoise Fred has gone to school many times with me. The last time I took her on our field day and she got to wonder around the school yard. I think that almost all of our 300 students got to say hi and give her a good scratch on the back. The kids really enjoy seeing her in real life. Fred has been going to school since she was about a pound and I carried her in a basket. Now she is over 65lbs and shows up in a wagon. She does not seem to mind all the attention, she rarely pulls in her head and many times walks up to people.
 

newCH

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Awesome, I love it. I bet the kids had fun telling their family about the expierence. Nice job.
Good for the tort too !
 

Prairie Mom

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You're on the way to having a very humanized tortoise, similar to Bob, Maggie3fan's sulcata. She also takes him places and allows human interaction. I enjoyed your pictorial. Thanks.
Thanks Yvonne. I admit that I'm hoping to have an outgoing tortoise like Bob.:)
 

Prairie Mom

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My tortoise Fred has gone to school many times with me. The last time I took her on our field day and she got to wonder around the school yard. I think that almost all of our 300 students got to say hi and give her a good scratch on the back. The kids really enjoy seeing her in real life. Fred has been going to school since she was about a pound and I carried her in a basket. Now she is over 65lbs and shows up in a wagon. She does not seem to mind all the attention, she rarely pulls in her head and many times walks up to people.
This was awesome to read! Thanks so much for sharing:) I would love to see Fred in a wagon. I wonder if Mavis would be cool with that as she gets bigger....hmmm...we may have to test that out. If you do it again, please post photos and tag me. I'd love to see it.
 

Prairie Mom

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Awesome, I love it. I bet the kids had fun telling their family about the expierence. Nice job.
Good for the tort too !
Thanks! I hope you're right and they told their families too. Some of the parents posed their kids with our tortoise and took photos. I thought that was pretty cute.
 

Prairie Mom

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I forgot to mention something that I thought was kind of funny...

One of the teachers (a teacher that is part of an extra curricular activity for one of my kids) came up to me and told me that every time my daughter talked about her pet tortoise, this teacher assumed the tortoise was "imaginary" and my daughter was making up "stories." She was laughing and more than a little shocked to find that the tortoise did in fact exist:D

Another thing that I thought was cute...
Our tortoise is a rescue that we found in a special way. We found her (most likely recently abandoned in the road) during a snow storm on our way home from a movie theater. We contacted rescues, shelters etc, and no one claimed her.

The funny thing is that we rescued our tortoise as we drove home from seeing a movie where they rescue a turtle in the movie! The turtle in the movie was named Mavis, so we named our tortoise Mavis. While we were at the school picnic, I also had a large handful of my other daughter's class mates come to me and do some fact checking. They wanted to know if this crazy story was actually true.

YES, PEOPLE! ALL OF MY KIDS WERE TELLING THE TRUTH ABOUT OUR TORTOISE!!! :D :D :D
 

Bogie=babyDINO

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Such an awesome thread! Thank you for sharing. All the pictures were so cute! I love watching little kids learn about animals and be so gentle with them. I think it's good for tortoises to socialize. Im assuming they probably are nervous at first but then get used to it. Just like their soaks. Bogart hated soaking and now he enjoys it.
 
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