I Had To Be a Mean Mama!

KarenSoCal

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and I hate it!

Here's what's happened.

If you've been following Thistle and me, you will recall that last week I removed the divider in her cage, gave her deeper substrate, and furnished her cage to what I thought would be mutually acceptable. It looked like this.
20200811_131751.jpg

For the most part it's been great! I like it, and after a few days of total shock, Thistle was enjoying her new amenities.

Until...she learned exactly what I tried to avoid! She learned that she could bury herself under the coco chips and not be found. She stays there until I leave the room, she then comes out, and then scoots back underground when she sees me. She wants to be anywhere other than with me. It's weird though, once I do catch her, she settles right down, rides around on my shoulder, and does not appear frightened. She stopped biting several weeks ago. She just doesn't want to be with me.

And when she's underground, I can't even entice her with food. This I will not tolerate.

So I have removed all of her substrate except a thin layer that she can get under, but does not conceal her body or movements. And she has a nice pile in her hide. I put her decor back in...I'm not trying to deprive her of hiding spots.

And I am back to step 1 of trying to get her to come out of her hide while I offer food. We had been where she would run up my arm to get to the waiting plate of food. Not any more.

Where did I go wrong? Did I "open up" too soon?

What should I do now to get her trust? Just start over?

How can I get her to want to be with me?

My only spot of hope is that I talked to a friend with a beardie. She said he went through this stage, but after some time passed, he mellowed out and enjoyed going everywhere with her. He especially loved Petco!
 

Mystic_Queen

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How old is she? If she is a hatchling then don’t be alarmed by her burying herself. Hatchlings spend a lot of time hiding buried and sleep. It’s natural instinct.
I’m my view I wouldn’t take away the substrate and make it thin so she can’t submerge under it.
by swapping and Changing her enclosure all time it could cause her more stress. I’ve learnt they stress easy. And they can struggle with change.

I have a red foot hatchling. She hatched 10th April. She loves to bury herself under the substrate. And likes to hide in her oat Cat grass. I leave her to it. I’m not going to stop her. I like you got alarmed by it. And a lot of members on here assured me it’s normal behaviour.

I offer fresh food everyday. It’s took time but she is out more now. But she does still hide. As that’s her natural instinct.

torts are not what would you call social animals.

Can your tort get in and out of that corner water dish ok?
it looks a little high. Torts can’t turn that easy and I think they are known as a drowning hazard for torts.
a lot of people on here swear by the terracotta dish ( if I got right one)
I use a plant pot saucer 3x the size of my tort. Dug into the substrate so she can comfortably get in and out. Without the worry of her flipping herself onto her back and possibly drowning.
 
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Happytort27

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How old is she? If she is a hatchling then don’t be alarmed by her burying herself. Hatchlings spend a lot of time hiding buried and sleep. It’s natural instinct.
I’m my view I wouldn’t take away the substrate and make it thin so she can’t submerge under it.
by swapping and Changing her enclosure all time it could cause her more stress. I’ve learnt they stress easy. And they can struggle with change.

I have a red foot hatchling. She hatched 10th April. She loves to bury herself under the substrate. And likes to hide in her oat Cat grass. I leave her to it. I’m not going to stop her. I like you got alarmed by it. And a lot of members on here assured me it’s normal behaviour.

I offer fresh food everyday. It’s took time but she is out more now. But she does still hide. As that’s her natural instinct.




Can your tort get in and out of that corner water dish ok?
it looks a little high. Torts can’t turn that easy and I think they are known as a drowning hazard for torts.
a lot of people on here swear by the terracotta dish ( if I got right one)
I use a plant pot saucer 3x the size of my tort. Dug into the substrate so can comfortably get in and out. Without the worry of her flipping herself onto her back and possibly drowning.
I don’t think @KarenSoCal is talking about her tortoise. Her thread is in the lizard section, so I would assume she’s talking about her other pet. :)
 

KarenSoCal

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torts are not what would you call social animals.

Oh my...I heartily apologize! It is in the lizard forum, but I should have mentioned that Thistle is a blue tongue skink.
Please forgive me!
20200818_143339.jpg

I do also have a tortoise..Sulafat. He's a 2 year old Burmese Star. BTW, your advice was right on! He would never navigate that water dish!
20200626_140447.jpg
 

Mystic_Queen

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Oh my...I heartily apologize! It is in the lizard forum, but I should have mentioned that Thistle is a blue tongue skink.
Please forgive me!
View attachment 303818

I do also have a tortoise..Sulafat. He's a 2 year old Burmese Star. BTW, your advice was right on! He would never navigate that water dish!
View attachment 303812
He’s beautiful. And I apologise didn’t know there was A lizard post on here.
He’s a handsome boy for sure
 

wellington

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I never had a skink. However I have had bearded, uromastyx, frogs, crabs, and few others besides my tortoises of course.
I find changing things always seem to set them back into less then normal behavior/routine. Some more then others. It's like you picked him up and placed him in a very strange territory hes not familiar with. Give him time to get it figured out that he is still safe, it is his home and likely he will be back to his old self soon.
Some of mine would hide, others, more brave I guess, would wonder around all day investigating.
 

KarenSoCal

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I never had a skink. However I have had bearded, uromastyx, frogs, crabs, and few others besides my tortoises of course.
I find changing things always seem to set them back into less then normal behavior/routine. Some more then others. It's like you picked him up and placed him in a very strange territory hes not familiar with. Give him time to get it figured out that he is still safe, it is his home and likely he will be back to his old self soon.
Some of mine would hide, others, more brave I guess, would wonder around all day investigating.
Thank you. All of that makes good sense.

I think partly my feelings are hurt because she obviously wants nothing to do with me. 😢
 

wellington

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Thank you. All of that makes good sense.

I think partly my feelings are hurt because she obviously wants nothing to do with me. 😢
Just for now. Give her time and maybe a few special treats only when you are holding her and she will come around quickly I bet.
 

Zoeclare

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Thank you. All of that makes good sense.

I think partly my feelings are hurt because she obviously wants nothing to do with me. 😢
I know this post is about skinks but I really relate to this! 🤣 I have so much love for my little tortie even though he basically sees me as an annoyance in his life. Thistle is beautiful!
 

KarenSoCal

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I know this post is about skinks but I really relate to this! 🤣 I have so much love for my little tortie even though he basically sees me as an annoyance in his life. Thistle is beautiful!

Thanks!

It is difficult to understand why we love critters that don't love us back.

One of those things to ponder during long COVID evenings! :)
 
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