Found Sulcata - Immediate Care Advice, please :)

thelifeofbuttons

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Hello!
Soooo, the most random thing happened today...we found a Sulcata in our (very secure) backyard CDT habitat!! As we came to find out, while we were on a camping trip last week, our gardner found a Sulcata walking across the street from a large park by our house, didn't see anyone around it could belong to, and decided to put it in our backyard habitat for safe keeping. Thankfully, our CDTs had already gone to sleep for the Winter, BUT because we were out of town, and I'd only gone to look in specifically on our hibernating tortoises, and not wander the habitat, I didn't even know it was there for an entire week!

I've posted on various social media to see if its owner is looking for it, but at the same time, no one seems to have posted about a lost Sulcata. It's about 12" and 10-12 pounds in size. It may be with me a week, or longer...who knows. Anyway, in the meantime, what's the best things I can do for it's immediate care? It's currently dropping down into the mid-40s to low 50s at night with quite a bit of fog, but still sunny and getting up into the mid80s during the day. If no one claims it, I plan to give it a proper set up in my own backyard, but obviously that takes some times, and this was all rather unexpected.

Thanks!
 

vladimir

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Wow, what a surprise! I'd say the most immediate thing to worry about is heat. Sulcatas need about 80F day and night, so if it's dropping into the 40's or 50's, that could be a major problem.

Is the sulcata inside at night?

Thank you for caring for the little guy!
 

thelifeofbuttons

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Wow, what a surprise! I'd say the most immediate thing to worry about is heat. Sulcatas need about 80F day and night, so if it's dropping into the 40's or 50's, that could be a major problem.

Is the sulcata inside at night?

Thank you for caring for the little guy!

I've done a fair amount of reading on Sulcata's before this dude showed up, as I've been seriously considering adopting. My first guess was that I was going to need to bring it in at night. I guess I'll be heading to Home Depot for a rubbermaid bin, for night sleeping. During the day, I'll give it free reign of my yard, as the CDT habitat is going to be too small, and that was my plan if I was to adopt a Sulcata at some point. Thankfully, I have a pretty good sized, very secure yard in general, with cinder block walls around the whole yard. They'll only have chickens to contend with out there.

Do you think it's worth getting some alfalfa for it to eat, as well? I have a stretch of bermuda grass in my yard, but other than our large section of grass, outside the CDT habitat, there's only half eaten succulents (thanks, chickens o_O).

Thanks for your reply!
 

vladimir

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Can you post some pictures? Depending on the size you may want to get a Kane heat mat and radiant heat panel to provide heat. If you do end up keeping it, you'll likely need to build a night box for overnight heat. Have you seen the thread with Tom's night box design?
 

thelifeofbuttons

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Location (City and/or State)
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Can you post some pictures? Depending on the size you may want to get a Kane heat mat and radiant heat panel to provide heat. If you do end up keeping it, you'll lik ely need to build a night box for overnight heat. Have you seen the thread with Tom's night box design?

oh yes, I've been reading Tom's posts and care sheets for close to a year now, in trying to decide if a Sulcata is a good choice for my next tortoise. They're so very informative. I'm probably going to wait on any heat pad, in case I can return it to it's home, but I keep our house thermostat around 70-72 degrees, so I think I can get a warm enough spot with just a lamp. I've also got a Bearded Dragon, so I've got an extra ceramic Heat lamp I can use too.

Something tells me that if they haven't yet noticed their Sulcata missing for over a week, it wasn't getting the best care to begin with...which is such a bummer. If I can't find it's home, I'll for sure be building it a proper heated house. I've got a good spot for it on the side of my house. Right across from my chicken coop. ;) (my husband is gonna love this! ha! ...but he knows these things are bound to happen with me.)

It seems relatively young. It measures 11 inches, and according to my scale (which could be off by half a pound in either direction) is 9.5 pounds. It has some pyramiding, as well. I'll post a photo when I can get them from my phone to my computer.
 
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