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How to tame young Aldabras?

Discussion in 'Aldabra tortoises' started by narattah, Nov 10, 2010.

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  1. narattah

    narattah New Member 5 Year Member

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    My Aldabras and all of my friends' Aldabras are very shy. Everytime I approach them, they always tuck in their heads. I can see over here in Thailand that only big sizes (12"+ long) that are tamed.

    I have my young Aldabras for 2 months now. I handle my Aldabras everyday and soak them once every two days, but nothing beat their shyness.

    What are your methods in taming them since they are hatchlings/jeveniles?
    Please share.

    Thank you.
  2. Laura

    Laura Well-Known Member 10 Year Member! 5 Year Member

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    maybe less handling.. and just spend time with them.. carefully hand feed them a special treat. handling is scary to a tort. We are large predators and we may drop them or eat them!
  3. ALDABRAMAN

    ALDABRAMAN KEEPER AT HEART 5 Year Member

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    Do you have a hide box in the habitat? Most young tortoises like a hide box. All of our hatchlings use the hide box from day one, it might help ease the stress for them. Also move slow and be patient with them. I would also strongly urge you to get them there own habitat. Good luck.
  4. narattah

    narattah New Member 5 Year Member

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    Yes I do have couple of hide boxes for them and they use it. Do Aldabra usually stay and sleep together?

    Do you suggest holding them in a palm of hand and hand-feed them food?
    They will get their own habitat soon.
  5. ALDABRAMAN

    ALDABRAMAN KEEPER AT HEART 5 Year Member

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    Ours are all kept together and do fine. I do not think they care about being with company, they just seek the same places to sleep. Patience and slow movements will help while working with them.
  6. Yvonne G

    Yvonne G Old Timer TFO Admin 10 Year Member! Platinum Tortoise Club

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    I feel I made a big mistake with my two. I got them as hatchlings and all their lives I've allowed them to be "wild animals" with no human interaction from me at all.

    Recently I've discovered that they require to have medication administered, and at 125lbs each, this is impossible for me. But with patience and perserverance, I've finally started to win them over.

    I poke a hole in a smelly piece of fruit like banana or papaya with a sipping straw, then I insert the medication into the hole.

    I squat down in front of the tortoise and let him smell the fruit. He will eventually take it from my hand, but he is very leery of me and it takes quite a few minutes for him to relax enough to trust me.

    So, just be gentle with your tortoises. If you have to pick them up for any reason, support their whole body, don't just hold them with your fingers. Let them know that they can trust you and you aren't going to hurt them. And move slowly around them.
  7. ALDABRAMAN

    ALDABRAMAN KEEPER AT HEART 5 Year Member

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    Very good advice. How long have you had yours, 125 pounds? What type of meds and why"
    Even our adult older breeders females are very "untrusty". The males are just the opposite, very friendly and relish the human intereaction and contacts.
    Amanda81 likes this.
  8. Yvonne G

    Yvonne G Old Timer TFO Admin 10 Year Member! Platinum Tortoise Club

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    So as to not hi-jack narattah's thread, I've sent you an email.
  9. gummybearpoop

    gummybearpoop Member 10 Year Member!

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    I noticed that males are more outgoing than females. The 200 lb females I worked with were nervous and shy, while the 400lb & 650 lb male would walk 100 feet to come up to my feet so that I would pet them. I am sure this isn't the rule. Some of these tortoises have been in captivity over 100 years.

    I think if you raise them up from babies, they may not be as nervous if you provide good hide spots but also let them know of your presence and that you won't harm them. I think the security of a good hide spot combined with the knowledge that your presence is harmless will make animals more comfortable when you are around.

    Galaps seem so much more outgoing and active.....my opinion.
  10. ALDABRAMAN

    ALDABRAMAN KEEPER AT HEART 5 Year Member

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    We notice the same thing regarding to the large males and females.
  11. BigTime

    BigTime Guest

    My 3 are seven, five, and two years old now. They are all three very friendly and show no signs of being shy.
  12. Tom

    Tom The Dog Trainer 5 Year Member Platinum Tortoise Club

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    I don't know aldabras, but for other species I've had good luck by just hand feeding. It takes a lot of patience. A little hunger drive doesn't hurt either.
  13. zesty_17

    zesty_17 Member 5 Year Member

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    I have been working with our group for about 3 years now. When i first began, none of the girls would allow me to approach them, let alone take food from me. On average it took about 4-6 minutes for them to every acknowledge my presence( I took any movement as acknoledgement at first). Eventually, they came around. Approximately, 6 months went by before they would consistently accept food from me and allow tactile on their shells. Currently, every Aldabra on property is trained/conditioned to allow us to approach, stand on cue, and allows for ultrasounds. I have one that will open her mouth on cue, and soon will be working with the vets to allow blood draws! Very rewarding when persistence pays off. They seem to be less stressed when we are around as well. Cheers.
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