Adopted a stray tortoise, hibernate him or not?

abk

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I live in the city and a few weeks ago I found a Sonoran Desert Tortoise crossing the street in my neighborhood. I posted on Facebook to see if anyone had lost him but no one claimed so I just adopted him.

Since then I’ve tried to learn as much as I can about taking care of him. We’ve been feeding him fresh nopales and dandelion greens and letting him sleep in a box in my room where it’s around 72 F at night. During the day he roams around an enclosed area in the backyard. Temps have been pretty hot around 85 F but lately it’s gotten colder and the highs are 75 lows are high 40s F.

We dug him a burrow and he’s been making use of it. I let him stay in it overnight when it got down to high 40s F at night for a few nights and he didn’t come out at all. Now the weather has warmed up and he’s out roaming around again.

I haven’t been feeding him since it got cold because I read not to give them food before they hibernate, but he’s started roaming around again during the day when it’s in the 70s.

I’m just wondering if I should plan not to hibernate him this winter, or if he can do a short hibernation when it’s consistently cold probably in January, and also how to feed him and what temps to keep him at if it’s cool but not cold enough for hibernation.

He’s a great little tortoise with a charming personality, very curious and on the move.

Any advice to keep him healthy and happy would be appreciated!
 

wellington

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If I remember correctly it is against the law to take them from the wild. Besides the fact they shouldn't be.
They are native to CA and he should be let go in a safe place by the area you found him.
Next time just move them off to the side of the road in the direction they were going.
 

Sarah2020

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I suspect it belongs to someone locally and should be reunited.... maybe post notices on lamppost or post notes to neighbours and ask around someone may know. Not everyone uses Facebook so not reliable for lost and found. For claiming you can ask for a picture to compare as shell scutes pigment vary. You could contact a local vet as it could be chipped. They do escape and there is probably a distraught owner.
 

abk

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I suspect it belongs to someone locally and should be reunited.... maybe post notices on lamppost or post notes to neighbours and ask around someone may know. Not everyone uses Facebook so not reliable for lost and found. For claiming you can ask for a picture to compare as shell scutes pigment vary. You could contact a local vet as it could be chipped. They do escape and there is probably a distraught owner.
I had not thought about seeing if he’s chipped but that’s a good idea. He definitely belongs to someone local but I have not seen anything posted near me. I am checking on other sites for lost pets.
 

abk

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If I remember correctly it is against the law to take them from the wild. Besides the fact they shouldn't be.
They are native to CA and he should be let go in a safe place by the area you found him.
Next time just move them off to the side of the road in the direction they were going.
He’s not wild. He was found in an urban area. There is no natural habitat for him here and it’s illegal to release a domesticated tortoise into the wild because they can spread disease.
I don't know how close you are to the fires in CA. I just people there realize that a lot of tortoises are going to show up in places that are not normal to them. The fires would have drove the ones that were able to survive, to look further for food than they normally would be.
 
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wellington

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He’s not wild. He was found in an urban area. There is no natural habitat for him here and it’s illegal to release a domesticated tortoise into the wild because they can spread disease.
If that's the case, no natural habitat then follow the post with suggestions of how to find the owners.
In the mean time I believe a caresheet was given, follow that and do not hibernate this year as you have not had him long enough to know if healthy or not to survive.
 

wellington

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What's all the tree area behind the tort in the pic? Couldn't he had come from there?
 

Sarah2020

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How did you get on? Was it chipped or have you had any luck to find the owner?
 
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