Chris Leone- Garden State Tortoise & Hermanni Haven

SamanthaMcGee

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Joined
Oct 15, 2019
Messages
2
Location (City and/or State)
Houston
My daughters wanted a pet and we didn’t want a cat or a dog. We decided on a tortoise. We got one from a pet store and didn’t know anything. We didn’t have it for a month when we believe it was sick when we bought it. We loved it very much and I researched breeders and came upon Chris. He was super helpful with providing information and it took me a few weeks to decide tk buy one of his tortoises. We did and bought 2 baby Hermanns Dalmatian Tortoises. We’ve had them for almost a month and they are doing great. We have “HQ” (Hankers-Qunari) and Cookie Crumbs McGee. HQ loves to explore and Cookie loves to sleep and dig so we have to dig each day. I cant recommend Chris enough as words just don’t do him any justice...he’s just that good!
 

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aj_fetterman

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Jun 29, 2017
Messages
14
Just recently completed my second purchase from Chris and the second was as good if not better than the first. Got my hatchling burmese star and have seen no issues for the week that I have now had it. Could not recommend Chris enough for anyone interested in tortoises of any kind
 

DeanMckinney

Member
Joined
Dec 12, 2016
Messages
28
Location (City and/or State)
NC
He has always been quick to respond to any questions I have sent even after a year since my last purchase. He is absolutely the best.
 

mammiller

New Member
Joined
Apr 28, 2020
Messages
1
Location (City and/or State)
Ohio
Just wanted to provide additional excellent feedback on Garden State Tortoise and Chris... I've been lurking on the forums for a few weeks learning as much as I could since my daughter decided she wanted a tortoise for her birthday. I quickly determined that I wanted to get a tortoise from a reputable forum member or breeder, and I came across Chris and was lucky that he had a captive bred well-started baby Eastern Hermanns tortoise available.

After a thorough and very informative email exchange, we decided to move forward with the tortoise he had available and my daughter got the birthday present she was dreaming of. Now I get to spend even more time with her as we continue to learn and work together to take care of it. Throughout the process communication from Chris was great, packaging and shipping was perfect and the baby tortoise arrived in excellent condition.

I highly recommend Chris and Garden State Tortoise.
 

sryan1072

New Member
Joined
May 20, 2020
Messages
1
Location (City and/or State)
SALEM
Chris has been answering my tortoise questions ( both good and bad) for several years. I have just made my first Tortoise purchase from Chris. I got a 3 y/o male Ibera. The monetary transaction was simple and straightforward (we used PayPal). We waited for a stretch of fair weather to make sure my guy had safe travels. We used FEDEX for the shipment. 14 hours after Chris shipped my Ibera was in my hands. He was well and safely packaged. He was bight eyed and in great shape coming out of the box. After a short soak, he start eating and started exploring.

I intend to purchase from Chris again. This tort was obviously well cared for. If you are unfamiliar with Chris's method of husbandry i suggest you look up some of his Garden State Tortoise videos on YouTube. He believes in using natural environment and practices in raising healthy Turtles/Tortoises. If you have any questions about this transaction and my satisfaction, please contact me
 

Larsonfam15

New Member
Joined
Jul 3, 2020
Messages
3
Location (City and/or State)
Bonney Lake
I just purchased an ibera greek tort from Chris. Communication was quick and efficient, answering all my questions. My tort was shipped perfectly and arrived safe and healthy looking. Will purchase from Chris again in the future and recommend to anyone!
 

SarahP_794

New Member
Joined
Jun 21, 2020
Messages
11
Location (City and/or State)
Pennsylvania
I just purchased a beautiful male Eastern Hermann's Tortoise hatchling from Chris. It was an excellent experience! Chris went out of his way to answer all my endless questions and was quick to respond. My tortoise shipped quickly and arrived safe and healthy. I can't express how great he was throughout the process. I highly recommend! I am sure I will be reaching to him with any further question I may have.
 
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Raptorchick13

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Joined
Jul 28, 2020
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1
Location (City and/or State)
Pennsylvania
Chris was fantastic to work with!! He answered all my questions & I loved his care guide! Him & his wife do amazing conservation work & I HIGHLY recommend them! Me & my mom love our newest additions! (2 Ibera Greek Toroise Hatchlings)
 

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OMEGA

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Joined
Mar 7, 2020
Messages
3
Location (City and/or State)
Iowa
I very highly recommend Chris. I spent months researching tortoise species and their needs to find what worked best for us. We landed on a Western Hermanns and then I had to find one. I looked at easy to find sites that had questionable reviews but didn't know where else to go. Then I found Tortoise Forum and saw posts mentioning Chris. I did research on him and Garden State Tortoise and quickly realized that these animals are a way of life for him and his family. He answered all of my emails quickly (usually within minutes) and I was never made to feel like I was silly for asking or that should have known. I ended up purchasing 1 male and 2 females (probably). He was good to wait until we were done with vacations before sending them. We got them 17 hours after he sent them. They were perfectly content, enjoyed a soak, and started eating and exploring. They are some beautiful babies and I couldn't possibly be any happier with the process or Chris.
 

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prsalley

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Joined
May 30, 2020
Messages
1
Location (City and/or State)
Castle Rock
I tend to over research everything. After months and months of looking at what type of tortoise would best suite my climate and family, I landed on the Russian (Horsefields) Tortoise or Hermanns tortoise. From there I dove into researching out where would be the best place to get one from. Time and time again every reputable source I could find referred me back to Chris and Garden State Tortoise. I decided to reach out to Chris and he was quick to personally answer my questions and steer me towards a Hermanns. You simply can't argue with his 20+ years of experience and DAILY interactions with Testudo and other tortoise and turtle species. He really is THE authority in the field known and renowned nationwide for his work. We received our Dalmatian hatchling today who was very alert and happy to explore his new enclosure. Anyone considering getting a tortoise or turtle of any kind should reach out to Garden State Tortoise if they want to ensure the best quality animal possible as well as expert advice in all areas. Also fun to see fresh content that his operation adds on a regular basis on social channels and YouTube. Thanks again Chris! Excited for the new addition!
 

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ManicTurt

Member
Joined
Mar 16, 2020
Messages
48
Location (City and/or State)
Fairfield, CA
After going through this forum and researching for months trying to find a small tortoise species, I asked for guidance from Garden State Tortoise. I had been set on an Egyptian tortoise for a while, but decided to look at other species as well, Chris suggested a Western Hermanns tortoise. I immediately set into researching and loved them! The website was extremely informative and answered almost all of my questions, and timely email correspondences answered the rest. I also have to comment on how kind, patient, and professional they were as well.
I received the hatchling today via pickup at a nearby FedEx. Cutest tortoise I have seen in my life! The package was clearly marked and packed well with colorful paper and a t-shirt included inside. They had no way of knowing this but this baby was a birthday present to myself and I just pulled an all-nighter to finish a final essay the night before so opening that box with bright colorful paper was a wonderful extra pick-me-up! The hatchling was healthy and active, soaking then eating immediately afterwards. He basked for about 10 minutes before burying himself. I am currently trying to think of a suitable name. I have heard a few but my husband suggested the name Jack Shellington and it might stick.
For any future tortoises I will be contacting Chris at Garden State Tortoise, and I would highly recommend them to anyone.
 

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Agathaade

Active Member
Joined
May 25, 2020
Messages
122
Location (City and/or State)
Los Angeles
I also received my baby from Chris today.
We have been preparing for its arrival for months! It’s a little Ibera Greek, it will enjoy the South California climate with us.
It arrived this morning from Jersey, in a little tub full of moist substrate that was suspended in packing paper inside a clearly labeled and vented cardboard box.
Right out of the box it was active, we soaked it, fed it and watched it explore its enclosure and bask. After a little nap, we took it outside in the outdoor enclosure for a little bit of UV. It ate and explored some more and now it is back indoors, completely burrowed and invisible.
It was an amazing first day.

I grew up around reptiles and one tortoise as a kid, they were wild caught though... different time and part of the world... I’m excited I can replicate the experience now with my family with a captive bred baby.

Chris was communicative and responsive throughout, we are overjoyed.
I appreciate his method that mimics the tortoises’ natural habitats and behaviors.

Here is Miguel Shimmery (as named by our three year old 🙃)


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Alana&mom

New Member
Joined
Apr 20, 2020
Messages
1
Location (City and/or State)
Cincinnati Ohio
Our baby hatchling, Leo, arrived today from Chris. He has arrived adventurous, alert and hungry, eating hibiscus, basil, plantain and clover before tucking himself in for bed.
I am a researcher and I had put a lot of work upfront learning about the breeders and it was a no brainier to choose Garden State Tortoise for the purchase. Chris's knowledge of the tortoises gave me a lot of comfort. I also really appreciate his communication style. I had a lot of questions (and I know I will in the future too) and he is quick to respond and very educational without making me feel I am asking obvious questions.
I would recommend him to anyone looking to add a healthy tortoise to their family.
 

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hokankai

New Member
Joined
Jul 29, 2019
Messages
2
Location (City and/or State)
OR
My Sardinian Western hatchling arrived from Chris almost a week ago, and I am kicking myself for not going for it and getting multiple! The experience was awesome and he was great to work with. I love how he raises his babies and Thistle arrived and has been burrowing, eating, and doing fantastic. Would definitely work with him again!

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Agathaade

Active Member
Joined
May 25, 2020
Messages
122
Location (City and/or State)
Los Angeles
I’m gonna amend my review from a week ago to add that... Chris mistakenly sent me a Hermanni instead of a Greek Ibera. 🤪
I had doubts over the first week because of her little tail spur and plastron markings, and he confirmed.
We’re okay with it. Their care seems very similar and we love her already.
He was apologetic and offered to send another baby free of charge. It’s extremely tempting! But we’re holding off for now, we’re good with our one. :)
I’m adding this for transparency’s sake, but since I actually had a hard time making my mind between the two, and I’m a newbie that just wanted a healthy baby - which I got - it’s all good!
 

kristaann1217

New Member
Joined
Jul 19, 2020
Messages
1
Location (City and/or State)
Lake Grove
We recently bought a baby russian from Chris. Tortelini is doing great! My son is learning how to care for him!
I cannot say enough nice things about Chris and Garden state tortoise! He answered all my questions when I emailed him! He has so much information on his websites and clearly loves the animals and what he does!
 

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ChelonianChris

New Member
Joined
Sep 28, 2019
Messages
7
Location (City and/or State)
New York
We just received our 2nd Dalmatian Hermann's tortoise from Chris and could not have asked for anything more. Chris was very responsive to any and all questions that we've had, and you can tell he really cares about the welfare of his animals. Not to mention his videos and write-ups are a treasure trove of information and a testament to his passion for these animals.

Most importantly though is the quality of the tortoises he produces. Right out of the shipping box yesterday, our new baby was happily munching on hibiscus flowers and dandelion leaves without skipping a beat. We purchased a hatchling last year as well who is absolutely thriving and growing at a smooth, steady rate. Bright-eyed and active tortoises, there isn't much more we can ask for in a breeder! Chris is great and I would recommend him to anyone considering purchasing a new tortoise.
 

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Tmorris1

New Member
Joined
Oct 7, 2020
Messages
1
Location (City and/or State)
Severn, MD
Just received 2 hatchling Hermann’s from Chris at GST. An excellent transaction in every way. Communication was great, shipping was prompt, and the baby torts look fantastic.

It’s an honor to support someone who’s doing so much to raise awareness and appreciation for all chelonians! Through his YouTube channel it became immediately evident that Chris has worked hard to not only learn about the critters he loves but also to create the best possible environments for them. It was his YT video on his outdoor pancake tortoise enclosure that inspired me to (finally) convert a raised bed planter into an outdoor pen for a 4yo pancake i have. And that has been a game changer for me - the behavioral changes were immediate.

Thanks again Chris - not only for the torts but for sharing your enthusiasm so openly on these incredible organisms.
 

BoxnTurtle

New Member
Joined
Oct 12, 2020
Messages
1
Location (City and/or State)
missouri
I emailed Chris from his website asking for a florida or gulf coast box turtle hatchling. He was quick with a reply and got the transaction rolling. I recommend garden state tortoise more than any other reptile vendor i’ve ordered from. My florida box turtle hatchling ate right out of the box and is doing great. I am more than pleased with my purchase. If you’re reading this...This is your sign you need to purchase a reptile from him. Thank you for everything garden state tortoise I will be purchasing reptiles from you only from here on out! D3449DE1-75FA-4825-9FF7-016B6E3378A2.jpeg
 
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