Desert Tortoise Hibernation

Javi

New Member
Joined
Oct 14, 2014
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13
Hello everyone. I am new to desert tortoises and I have a question about hibernation. I have have owned sulcata tortoises for years but never desert tortoises. I just found out that desert tortoises hibernate. What does that mean? What do I need to prepare or do to make sure my desert tortoise doesn't have any problems hibernating? Any information about desert tortoises hibernation is greatly appreciated. Thank you.
 

Arnold_rules

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Aug 13, 2012
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Location (City and/or State)
Gilbert, AZ
I believe you just got your DT, so you might not want to hibernate/burmate him/her this season. Depending on how big it is, you can make it an indoor habitat with UV lighting so you can be sure he/she is safe this winter.

Answering your original question, there are alot of posts on here about burmating your tortoise indoors. This is the time of year they start slowing down and getting ready to burmate for the winter. Basically, in the wild the tortoise slows down to the point where they are inactive while it is cold, like many mammals do, and take a long winter's nap. As keepers, we just have to be sure they are safe during their burmation period. Some people use boxes and several use dead refrigerators to allow their tortoises to sleep during the winter.
 

Javi

New Member
Joined
Oct 14, 2014
Messages
13
Thank you for the response and all the great information.
 

Ciri

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Sep 28, 2014
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Tucson
The Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum has excellent info compiled by reptile specialist veterinarians who care for the museums desert tortoises and other reptiles:

http://www.desertmuseum.org/programs/tap_tortcare.php

also good:

http://www.sdturtle.org/public_documents/sdtts_goodandbadgardenplants.pdf#!care-sheets/c217k

I always hibernated my desert tortoise. If he was sick would I keep him awake until he was treated by a veterinarian and well enough to hibernate. I always get pre-and post-hibernation checkups so that I don't risk losing an animal during hibernation.

Good luck with your desert tortoise.
 
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