Formal Intro - Lengthy

a6t9vette

New Member
Joined
Dec 24, 2016
Messages
18
I have not done a formal intro before but I have asked a few questions and been reading a lot. So a bit background, as part of the intro, sorry in advance for the length:

My daughter (10) decided she wanted a tortoise for Christmas after some research and reading up on species on various sites (hadn't found the forum at that point) and discussing all the pros/cons she still was on board. This was fine with me as I had always wanted a tortoise as well. We decided an Eastern Hermann's was for her due to the size, hardiness, availability, etc. The tortoise was to come from my parents as Christmas gift. I did lots of reading of reviews on various "sellers" and quickly crossed a few off the list. I contacted Chris Leone as I am also from NJ, but he had none available. We eventually settled on a fairly new site (this isn't a review of them, but an intro) from NJ with lots of good reviews and a reputation of not shipping until they knew you had a proper set-up etc. That gave us the warm and fuzzy to order from them. After some communication we decided to forgo the hatchling and go with "well-started" Eastern (2 - 2.5"), which was more money but for first time owners we thought this was best. The order was placed and we requested shipping on Dec 26th for a 27th arrival (that way we would have all Christmas Break with "him"). This is when things got interesting...

I ended up getting a shipping confirmation e-mail from FedEx on the 20th. I didn't think much of it as that time of year there are lots of FedEx shipments. On the way to work the next morning it hit me, went back checked and sure enough it was the tortoise. I scrambled contacted them and sure enough he was to be delivered by 1030 (oops sorry). I had to take the day off and quickly get home anticipating having to open without my daughter who was at school. Turns out they didn't delivery until 4pm which was bad for the length, but good as my daughter was home. We opened the box and out came this tiny Tortoise (~1.5"). He looked good, gave a soak, put him in his home and he was eating within an hour. Great!

I made contact with the site about the small size and how it seemed more like a hatchling. I was assured that it was a well started and the measurement included head and tail (that seemed odd, but what do I know). A couple of days went by, I found this site started reading and made some adjustments according:
- Got ride of the Coil bulb - got a 24" tube now
- added a flood bulb for basking (kept my original CHE for some heat as well)
- added a humidly hide
- Terra Cota water and food saucers
- added an organic spider plant, etc....

Fast forward some more reading and I start questing if this tortoise is in fact a Hermann's. I posted some pictures and sure enough my suspicions where correct "he" was a Marginated tortoise. We wanted a Hermann's not a Marginated, so my daughter and I talked and did our homework on Marginated and decided he wasn't right for her (size, etc.). I contacted the seller again and referenced him to the post on here where Chris confirmed the species. They apologized and offered a swap. They now didn't have any ~6mo olds but did have one close, but it was likely female (per incubation, we were hoping for a male) and had a strange scute. In the mean time I started looking all over for Plan B. Looked at all the adds here, contacted Chris again (who was a bit help with all this) and found an 8-mo old Eastern at a breeder in CA that Chris recommends. Due to the concern with the replacement tortoise being offered and dealings with the seller to date, plan B became plan A. Things were set in motion to return the Marginated and receive the Hermann's. This past Monday the Marginated shipped which cased tears in the house, and the Hermanns was due to arrive on Tuesday. I took another day off work to receive this one thinking she wouldn't get to open this one for sure. Turns out it snowed and they had a snow day. But now I was worried about a shipping delay. Turns out everything was fine, and he arrived at 1000 as I was shoveling. We bathed him right away and he was eating shortly after. We now finally have a Eastern Hermanns from a great/helpful breeder and are now getting "him" settled.

This site has been a great resource and I appreciate all the help received to date, and look forward to more in the future so I can help my daughter care for her Tortoise.
 

Tidgy's Dad

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Feb 11, 2015
Messages
48,166
Location (City and/or State)
Fes, Morocco
WOW!
Quite a novel ;)
Hello, and a very warm welcome to Tortoise Forum to you, your daughter and your new tortoise. :)
I hope the little Margie finds a good home soon.
Glad you like it here, and glad the people were able to help you.
People are always happy to help.
 

Pearly

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5 Year Member
Joined
Jul 14, 2015
Messages
5,294
Location (City and/or State)
Central Texas, Austin area
Omg! How can they send a wrong species???!!!! I have heard of this happening before! That! Horrible! Poor little Margie, but glad your story did finally have a happy ending. Warm welcome to you guys from central Texas. My species is the redfooted and 19 months ago I was at similar place where you are now. Stick around, ask questions, make friends seek advise and most of all, enjoy this forum and your little tortoise
 

PJay

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5 Year Member
Joined
Jul 20, 2016
Messages
1,163
Location (City and/or State)
Virginia
Welcome to the forum! There are some great people here on this forum (Chris and many others as well), I don't think I would buy a tortoise or turtle without a referral from someone here.
 

Yvonne G

Old Timer
TFO Admin
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jan 23, 2008
Messages
89,017
Location (City and/or State)
Clovis, CA
Hi, and welcome to the Forum!

I love a happy ending. I'm so glad it turned out ok. Chris is a pretty nice guy, huh? We'd love to see pictures of your Hermanni and where he lives. We always love pictures!!
 

a6t9vette

New Member
Joined
Dec 24, 2016
Messages
18
Sending the Marginated back was a tough decision, proud of my daughter for looking at the bigger picture with how long she would have Sheldon (aka Sheldon 2.0). We actively tracked his return back after packing him well for the trip and he arrived nice and early the following day and we got confirmation of a safe arrival.

Made for long story. :)

Here's a few pics. (Food bowl is now Terra Cota)

IMG_1853.JPG IMG_1845.JPG
 
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