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Correct way to lift a lg tortoise?!

Discussion in 'General Tortoise Discussion' started by Tony the tank, Jan 12, 2013.

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  1. Tony the tank

    Tony the tank Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    I was reading post and got to thinking(I hate it when I do that).. What is the correct way to lift a lg tortoise(100+lbs).. I usually lift from the shell above the head and on the center rear... This gives me something to hold on to and protects me from having another fingernail torn off..

    I want the safest way for the tortoise...

    Thoughts opinions?
  2. CtTortoiseMom

    CtTortoiseMom New Member 5 Year Member

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    My thoughts are....Whoa, you can lift a 100+ pound tortoise!!!!!
  3. Tom

    Tom The Dog Trainer 5 Year Member Platinum Tortoise Club

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    Any way you can...

    I usually wrap my arms around with hands on plastron and hold it up against the front of my torso with their head pointing up.

    Another favorite way is to put them into a very large tub on the ground and then as many people as necessary can lift the tub.
  4. Tony the tank

    Tony the tank Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    Seems the guys haven't figured out the new setup.. So I have to go around at sunset and find them and carry them back to the heated shed... ( we are talking an acre) and the female the biggest likes one particular corner at the far end of the property..

    Tom.. The problem with bear hugging them.. I feel I don't have a good grip on them... I really don't have a problem with the weight... I just want to confirm I cannot damage there shell by lifting them the way I do...I wasnt paying attention the other day and picked tiny up above his right rear leg he kicked and tore one of my fingernails off...
  5. tortadise

    tortadise Well-Known Member Moderator 5 Year Member

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    My big guys require 2 people. One on front like ypu described and another on the rear getting grip just above the hind legs. They dont have to get lifted often. But when they do thats the procedire with my biggens. Male is 160-180 pounds and female is around 115-120. Its more the akwardness of their size and not so much the weight.
  6. Jacqui

    Jacqui Wanna be raiser of Lemon Drop tortoises Moderator 10 Year Member!

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    I sweetly ask my son to come and do it. :p :D
  7. RedfootsRule

    RedfootsRule New Member 5 Year Member

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    My sulcata got out of our yard once...Luckily the neighbors knew he belonged to us. We got a call "yes there is a large rock in our yard....". We actually got him on thick blanket and dragged it. When lifting I wrap my arms around the plastron and try not to ruin my back :).
  8. Tom

    Tom The Dog Trainer 5 Year Member Platinum Tortoise Club

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    I have seen many tortoises get dropped from people holding the carapace as you describe. I usually recommend gloves, but several times I've seen what happened to you happen to others. Those back feet are so strong and there is nowhere back there to grab where they can't push your hands off. For under 100 pounds, I do the "bear hug" technique. For over 100 pounds I prefer the tub or getting multiple people to get hands under the plastron.
  9. cemmons12

    cemmons12 Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    Really good question I think! Cooper only has 77lbs to go to get to 100. But, hell I am 136lbs, maybe I can break him like our horse and I can just ride him around! Lol! I'm dumb, I know... :p
  10. Tony the tank

    Tony the tank Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    Tom and Redfoot I think I will try both your ideas. ..A rubber tub and drag it... Been carrying them a lot last few weeks... My hands are getting all cut up...

    It's funny how they all react different to being picked up...Tina(the female) doesn't seem to react going limp while I carry her... Tony just sticks his head out o see were he is going.... But Tiny he really freaks out kicking ,moaning and grunting..

    Thanks for the suggestion everyone.. I appreciate the info..
  11. cemmons12

    cemmons12 Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    I take Cooper and put his head under my neck and he sticks his head out and rests it on my shoulder most the time. For now I carry him like a giant sandwich.
  12. ascott

    ascott Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    Hector, what about one of those auto mechanic creepers? I bet you could customize your own with casters/wheels and some 2x6 as a platform??? this way you can get it high enough to push them over the acre property....
  13. immayo

    immayo Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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  14. Tortus

    Tortus Member 5 Year Member

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    4k lift.
  15. Tom

    Tom The Dog Trainer 5 Year Member Platinum Tortoise Club

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    Oh yes. I've used a regular wheelbarrow several times too. In the summer when I turn them loose on the whole five acres they are of course at the farthest point possible from where I need them to be, so I just take the wheelbarrow over and lift them in. Mine are all still under 100 though. Not sure this would work with a really big one.
  16. Life as Tokin

    Life as Tokin New Member 5 Year Member

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    I feel if you put a treat in front of them they would just walk? So you could kind of just lead them to where they need to be.
  17. RedfootsRule

    RedfootsRule New Member 5 Year Member

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    Haha, thats definitely true. When I have to move Rocky any considerable distance...I get a carrot :). He would walk a mile for it.
  18. motero

    motero Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    I have a theory, They go to the same place every night, you move them to the heated house every night, now they think that spot is how they get to the heated house. If it is not to cold like above 45 degrees Leave them out a few nights and there discomfort will drive them to find the heated house the night after that.
    It worked with a few of mine under similar circumstances. You have to think like a tortoise.
  19. tortadise

    tortadise Well-Known Member Moderator 5 Year Member

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  20. Yvonne G

    Yvonne G Old Timer TFO Admin 10 Year Member! Platinum Tortoise Club

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    I have the gorilla wagon for when my Manouria don't go in at night on their own.

    But whatever you do!!!!!! DON'T put your fingers or hands inside the arm and leg holes. That's a good way to lose a fingernail and scrape all the skin off your fingers. They are extremely strong and once they pull in on your fingers its harder'n hell to get out of there! Believe me.

    I grab the carapace at the neck and tail with both hands. Some of the tortoises accept this, but some raise their head to scrape my fingers away. But most of them are easily picked up this way (and placed in the gorilla wagon). And if you use gloves, the head doesn't hurt as badly as their legs do.
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