Help me with my Red Foot rescue

Foy

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Fort Myers, FL
Several weeks ago we found this Red Foot in our front yard. It came right up to us so it's obviously used to people but we could see that it had been abused. It looks to me like a large dog used it as a chew toy over an extended period. As you can see from the photo many of the shell plates are broken off and in places the underlying bone is loose. The front of it's shell is like a saw tooth edge rather than being smooth as it should. It's also got some degree of pyramiding. It's living in our large dog yard(no dog) and is eating like a pig from the lists of foods I've fond here. It is pooping but I haven't seen it drink yet. Mainyis stays hidden in the bushes although, my grandson insisted, it has a large concrete block house that it uses every now and then.

I don't know what to do for it and haven't found a vet who knows anything about tortoises.
Can or should I grind the "teeth" off the edge of its shell?
Is there anything I can do for the missing plates on its shell?
How old would you guess it is?
I'm sure it's a male as the bottom is very flat.
The humidity here is south Florida is high, it has a large flat pool and I soak the bushes where it hides with the hose every few days.

I really wan to do right by this tortose, I figure it's had a hard life up until now so any advice will be appreciated.

Today it came into our screen porch while we were out there talking. I carried it back to the grass but a few minutes later it was under our feet! I'dlike to think that it's coming out of it's shell, so to speak!

IMG_7061.JPG IMG_7154.JPG
 

Blackdog1714

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What an awesome find Check the redfoot caresheet for the regular basics. The shell does look chewed on can you add some up close photos to better help.
 

Foy

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Haha! I've read all the Red Foot caresheets which have been very helpful with basic info. I'll take some close-ups tomorrow when he comes out. My grandson named him "Apple" because that was the first thing we fed him.
 

ZEROPILOT

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The flat bottom would indicate female.
The pyramiding is VERY mild. In fact it's less than my south Florida Redfoot that have lived outdoors all of their lives.
You can apply general antibiotic ointment to the wounds. Even though they look old and healed. It won't hurt.

Redfoot love the water.
Place her into a body of warm water about 3" deep and let her take a soak.
You will also so her drink.
Also, place her on mulch and make sure that she has some sort of little pool that she can climb in and out of.
My Redfoot spend part of the day in the water during the summer.
It's a very nice looking tortoise.
 

Foy

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My mind drifted onto the wrong tortoise! It's got a dished bottom, not flat. My mistake. He has a pond but hasn't gone near it as far as I can see. His hide under the bushes stays damp. He is in a very large fenced yard and has lots of grass and even several hibuscus plants to nibble on. I have soaked him, or tried too, but he walked off pretty quickly. I'll try again tomorrow ina deeper pan.
 

ZEROPILOT

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My mind drifted onto the wrong tortoise! It's got a dished bottom, not flat. My mistake. He has a pond but hasn't gone near it as far as I can see. His hide under the bushes stays damp. He is in a very large fenced yard and has lots of grass and even several hibuscus plants to nibble on. I have soaked him, or tried too, but he walked off pretty quickly. I'll try again tomorrow ina deeper pan.
Maybe you've noticed that they LOVE the rain?
Try placing a hose and a sprinkler near the enclosure and watch him interact with it.
The rain gets them active and excited.
 

Foy

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It's only rained once since we've had him and he stayed hidden in the bushes the whole time. My thought is that he's lived witha large dog which has abused him so learned to stay out of sight as much as possible. My hope is that as he gets used to his new enclosure he'll relax and enjoy life more.
 

Foy

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No problems with his beak, its the ragged edge behind his head although I've now looked at many photos of wild tortoises that have chipped edges there. I guess I'll leave it alone.
 

Yvonne G

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No problems with his beak, its the ragged edge behind his head although I've now looked at many photos of wild tortoises that have chipped edges there. I guess I'll leave it alone.
Oh, sorry. I thought I read something about 'teeth'. Unless the ragged shell is causing injury to his neck, you don't need to do anything about it either.
 

ZEROPILOT

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It's only rained once since we've had him and he stayed hidden in the bushes the whole time. My thought is that he's lived witha large dog which has abused him so learned to stay out of sight as much as possible. My hope is that as he gets used to his new enclosure he'll relax and enjoy life more.
Redfoot do generally stay hidden during the day in Florida.
Only coming out in the morning and again at dusk to look for food. Or if it rains.
I have 5.
Four live outside.
I feed them every day and it's not at all unusual for me to not see a single tortoise for days.
They are not fans of high heat or bright sun.
Offer the shade plants and just let him do his thing.
He's acting normal.
 

Foy

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Thank you all for your help! So far this one only comes out in the evening when the sun gets low. I give him a good feed when I see him which he always eats. I'm glad to hear its normal. He gets back under a deep bush and burrows under the leaves. I have a hard time finding him even when I know where he is.
Will I need to provide heat if I leave him outside? Rarely we'll get one day where it gets down to 30 early in the morning. If so what do you recommend for a heat source?
 

TammyJ

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What a sweetheart tortoise and the luckiest gal on earth right now!
Ahhhhh....can we see the plastron please when you have a chance?
 

ZEROPILOT

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Thank you all for your help! So far this one only comes out in the evening when the sun gets low. I give him a good feed when I see him which he always eats. I'm glad to hear its normal. He gets back under a deep bush and burrows under the leaves. I have a hard time finding him even when I know where he is.
Will I need to provide heat if I leave him outside? Rarely we'll get one day where it gets down to 30 early in the morning. If so what do you recommend for a heat source?
Below 55 degrees.
Especially if there is a breeze or rain.
I bring mine inside my sun room and place them in totes for the night. Then back out in the morning when it gets below 50. Because they're too "tortoise" to get into their heated night houses by themselves.
(By tortoise I mean stupid)
I don't want to call them stupid.
 

Foy

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Below 55 degrees.
Especially if there is a breeze or rain.
I bring mine inside my sun room and place them in totes for the night. Then back out in the morning when it gets below 50. Because they're too "tortoise" to get into their heated night houses by themselves.
(By tortoise I mean stupid)
I don't want to call them stupid.


Okay, I thought about bringing him in as an easy way to handle cool weather. If I chose to leave him out what heat source wowuldyou recommend?
 

Foy

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Anyone have any reasonable guesses as to his age? I'm thinking he might be 20 or more.

I'll get some plastron photos later when he come out.

Here he is last night devouring a hibuscus flower and then his regular bowl of greens and squash.
 

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ZEROPILOT

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Okay, I thought about bringing him in as an easy way to handle cool weather. If I chose to leave him out what heat source wowuldyou recommend?
A simple 75 watt CHE screwed into a suitable ceramic based socket, some fixture on a timer.
Mine are on at 5 PM
Off at 10 AM
My night houses have rubber door flaps to keep out drafts and keep the heat in better.
You can see the night houses on one of my YOUTUBE videos called:
REDFOOT HABITAT FLORIDA STYLE
 
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