How did you get started with Aldabra

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Bradndez

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When you first decided to get an Aldabra where did you start? Did you buy books? Talk with a Friend? Just get one and wing it? What resources did you use (if you have links please share them).

Hopefully this thread could turn into a wealth of information for current and future Aldabra owners.

Thanks,
Brad
 

Jacob

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We have a Great Breeder As a Member Here, Greg.
His name is ALDABRAMAN, and can give you very valid information.
 

wellington

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Jacob said:
We have a Great Breeder As a Member Here, Greg.
His name is ALDABRAMAN, and can give you very valid information.
DITTO, also there is a care sheet on TFO, called Aldabra care sheet. Not real sure how accurate it is, but it is a start after talking to Greg, ALDABRAMAN
 

ALDABRAMAN

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When i started in the 80's there were not many good books or magazine articles about aldabras. Today the internet is a great resource for researching and finding information. The majority of my information and knowledge is mostly based on my direct observations and direct involvement with my own aldabra breeding program. These two books i found interesting to read.


 

Baoh

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I had wanted one for awhile, but typically lived in apartment settings or rented homes after first graduating from Uni, so the setup and cost of acquisition prevented it from being an easily made choice. Back then, I mainly had hatchlings or juveniles of various smaller species that I had grown into up into my own breeding groups and then produced a great many hatchlings from those groups. I sold those all off over time and have dabbled (and still dabbe) in leopard geckos and other creatures. When I set out on my latest venture to purchase a home, I incorporated significant space to keep various potentially large animals into the decision. Both inside and outside. I had been raising het Ivory sulcatas for a bit and decided to skip some steps and purchased homozygotic animals to improve genetic probabilities. I also wanted other large species and sought out Gpp (het Sunset Hypo), larger/giant YFs, and Mep - most with a female bias to generally reduce aggression (not guaranteed, of course) and increase fecundity. I was pretty well set with these groups and satisfied overall with an exception or two. One of those was to have at least one of the true giants. To me, Aldabras have a more attractive face than, and get more or less the same size as, a Galapagos. Since the Aldabra acquisition was not beset with restrictions as is the case for Galops, it was an easy choice. I even tried to source seeds for native "tortoise turf" to convert all or some of my yard, but had no real luck at the time. Grass would have to do, although there is plenty of different grass types (with a bias towards Zoysia) along with various non-grasses upon which the animals may choose to feed.

I looked around for availability and price. My best value came from Chris Estep (Toucan Jungle). The animals I have received from him were and continue to be healthy and exemplary for their species. I am not 100% sure, but I believe one is a male and that the other might be a female. I do not have plans to breed them at this time and do not care too much, though.

I also received a near-death and featherlight quasi-rescue hatchling at one point. I managed to bring it back from being "hollow" with a RTI and eye infections when it was not eating or even able to maintain anything approximating normal activity. After taking care of it in a particular way, it showed good improvements and then quickly gained to the point of having a healthy weight, activity level, and overall health status. After being sure that that bundle of issues was history, I sold that animal to a veterinarian who works with exotics. The amount it sold for paid for one of my purchased Aldabras and a fraction of the other, leaving me with a net cost for the two tortoises themselves at only $600-700. I have only saved one other animal that was in as bad a shape as that one, so I was very pleased with the positive outcome. Most stuff people bring me, in the case of illness, is basically circling the drain.

I believe these animals have a gentle and prehistoric majesty and I want to experience this by being close to them. I do not have children yet, but I expect that will happen someday. In my opinion, enriching their lives with exposure to wonders of nature such as these can only make for an even better childhood than the same situation without inclusion.[hr]
Oh, and in terms of overall care, my experiences led me to believe that tortoises are more often the same in their care requirements than different. Aldabras have been thriving in my care under the same conditions I keep sulcatas, leopards, Burmese Blacks, YFs, and (previously) Testudo species.

In order to make sure there is more calcium available for these fast and large growing animals, I spread dolomite powder on the areas upon which my animals graze (the entire yard).
 

Bradndez

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Hopefully this will help people as they search for info (I know it would help me to have info all in one place).

General Tortoise Care:
http://www.tortoisetrust.org
http://www.tortoiseforum.org/Thread-One-care-sheet-Part-II-Short-Version#axzz1r2XyGYxg
http://www.reptilechannel.com/turtles-and-tortoises/default.aspx

Aldabra Care Sheets:
http://www.reptilechannel.com/care-sheets/aldabra-tortoise.aspx
http://www.aldabra-direct.com/care_sheet.html
http://reptileparadise.com/cs_aldabra.htm
http://aldabratortoises.com/caresheet.html (Not finished but I can't wait until Aldabraman finishes it :) )

Books:
Giant Tortoises of the Indian Ocean by J.Gerlach
Aldabra Tortoise experts guide by Richard Cary Paull
Giant tortoise of the Seychelles, a survivor by Bernard Devaux

If you have more info, links, or reviews please reply.
 
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