Aldabras - need companionship or not?

Tom

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Well, my Buddy has not seen another tort in 20 years. I am his third owner, he grew up with little dogs and tries to get close to the other little dogs.
He was owned by 2 other women that didn't know what kind of tort her was. I'm amazed he survived his first 10 years with his first owner. Then he lived 5 years with second owner. I've had him 1.5 years, hooked up with 3 awesome veterinarians, Houston Zoo head vet, Joe Flanagan is my mentor in tortoise care. Anyway... Buddy does fine without his kind around and is bonded to humans.. He follows me around and leans his body next to me constantly.
Thank you for the input Mini.

I understand that he's doing fine without other tortoises, but I find it interesting that you note how he seeks companionship of some sort with little dogs and with you. Perhaps they DO "like" companionship and your single tortoise is just substituting other animals.

Very interesting...
 

ben awes

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There's only one problem with your response Mini - THERE ARE NO PHOTOS OF BUDDY!!! I can't live without more photos of Buddy!

I do like to think that by not providing a tortoise companion to my Uncle Bri he might be more apt to bond with me, if that's possible!

Thanks for the insight, really great to hear about how Buddy is doing.
 

Alaskamike

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Social needs / behavior is both a learned thing, as well as an evolved trait. If you'e looked at the Seychell islands where Aldarbras evolved, it is evident that they live in a very harsh, often difficult and food specific envoronment. When different plants bloom and grow the Adabras tend to congriigate in those areas and seem to have no problem sharing , eating, and mating without fights.
Sulcatta on the other hand evolved in areas where the expanse and land mass was almost unlimited. Food there can be scarce too certian times of the year and they are agressive to eachother over territory. It is very different keeping a group of sullys together as opposed to Aldabras or Gallops.

Do they "need" social interaction, enjoy it, seek it out? All we can do is watch their behavior as they are amazingly silent on the mater -hahahah.
In the wild, it is common to see a heard of Aldabras , almost never seen with Sulcatas. Is it the smaller environment, food availablity, or the need to be together? Maybe a combiation of all three.

If I had the $ resourse I would have several Aldabras living together, but not Sully's. As it is I have only one Aldab (Unless someone wants me to adopt theirs LOL)
 

Yvonne G

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I have two that have been together from hatch and are 15 years old. They never interact with each other. They don't seek each other out either to fight or sit together. They go their own way throughout the paddock. I have a sight barrier fence that goes across 3/4's of the middle of their yard. Frequently one of them is on the other side of that sight barrier, out of sight of the other one. They never look for each other. It seems to make no difference to them if they're alone in their yard or not.
 

Yvonne G

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Do you ever wonder Yvonne?
Why they are like that?
Maybe they are both the same sex? or does it really matter?
They are both male. My point was that they don't need each other for company and are just fine being alone.
 

mtdavis254817

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Every night my red foots all gather under this one hide and go to sleep, there are other hides in there pen, but every night they cram in together under the same hide. Last night I took there cover out to see where they would huddle up. I was a little surprised to find that they all chose a different area in the pen to hunker down.
 

Tom

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Social needs / behavior is both a learned thing, as well as an evolved trait. If you'e looked at the Seychell islands where Aldarbras evolved, it is evident that they live in a very harsh, often difficult and food specific envoronment. When different plants bloom and grow the Adabras tend to congriigate in those areas and seem to have no problem sharing , eating, and mating without fights.
Sulcatta on the other hand evolved in areas where the expanse and land mass was almost unlimited. Food there can be scarce too certian times of the year and they are agressive to eachother over territory. It is very different keeping a group of sullys together as opposed to Aldabras or Gallops.

Do they "need" social interaction, enjoy it, seek it out? All we can do is watch their behavior as they are amazingly silent on the mater -hahahah.
In the wild, it is common to see a heard of Aldabras , almost never seen with Sulcatas. Is it the smaller environment, food availablity, or the need to be together? Maybe a combiation of all three.

If I had the $ resourse I would have several Aldabras living together, but not Sully's. As it is I have only one Aldab (Unless someone wants me to adopt theirs LOL)
How do you know this about sulctas? I've not found much about them in the wild at all. There is a passage in the crying tortoise that refers to tunnel complexes that are shared by multiple sulcatas.

I wish more was known about wild sulcatas.
 

Team Gomberg

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Every night my red foots all gather under this one hide and go to sleep, there are other hides in there pen, but every night they cram in together under the same hide. Last night I took there cover out to see where they would huddle up. I was a little surprised to find that they all chose a different area in the pen to hunker down.
This leads me to believe they gather under that hide because it's a choice spot, not because of companionship. Remove the choice spot and you saw them all go their separate ways.
 

mtdavis254817

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I have also read in Giant tortoises of Madagascar that males do fight in crowded groups. It usually occurs when a larger male will try to mount a smaller male. In the book is a picture of a large aldabra flipped over with the other male trying to prevent it from righting himself.. it also says that aggression is rare and usually happens when there is a large amount of males.
 

mike taylor

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I've had the pleasure of meeting mini's Aldabra tortoise buddy. I can tell you he loves to hang out with people . He's the neighborhood mascot . haha But he's the only Aldebaran tortoise I have met .
 

Alaskamike

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Tom ,
Sulcata vs Aldabra
My understanding of Sulcata behavior in wild as solitary animals comes partly from lots of reading and partly from antidotal observation in Kenya. The Native Polcot in North West Kenya region hunted them for food and said they always found them in ones. Not groups. That said , there are places in captivity where 3 or more sulcata are kept together in an area and they ignore each other.

I've not been to the Seychelles , but have seen many photos of Aldabra in very close proximity , seemingly pretty much ignoring each other and eating together.

I did read a report of two males (Aldabra ) fighting until one turned the other over. I suppose especially mating can cause aggressive male behavior in any species.

My comments on evolved traits is pure speculation. Certainly we can't know for sure
 

Alaskamike

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Though antidotal , it seems experience shows Adabras to have , as Adabraman said " very rare" conflicts with each other in groups. Do those of you who keep groups of sulcata see the same thing? Or would you caution against keeping mature ones in groups ?

Of course either way it says little about any need for socialization. There are so many other factors that could bring a population together ; food, weather, breeding, predators, etc.
 

ALDABRAMAN

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Though antidotal , it seems experience shows Adabras to have , as Adabraman said " very rare" conflicts with each other in groups. Do those of you who keep groups of sulcata see the same thing? Or would you caution against keeping mature ones in groups ?

Of course either way it says little about any need for socialization. There are so many other factors that could bring a population together ; food, weather, breeding, predators, etc.
~ I have several sources that we have given larger male rescues to and they say that when the habitat is big and spacious there is less aggressive behaviors with sulcatas. One local friend has several large males in over two very healthy acres and never any issues!

* Here is one of my friends property that houses several larger males, never any issues with aggressive behaviors!

11198681_10205518782742076_580917581_n.jpg
 

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