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I just can't decide: leopard or redfoot?

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FLGirl41

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Hi everyone, I really appreciate your thoughts. I was able to spend time with a fully grown yellowfoot and realized, I want something even larger. I just love the big guys and really want a single, very large pet tort. Sulcatas are out due to their burrowing and bulldozing abilities :) but I believe the pardalis pardalis leopard is the tort for me. I won't rule out a colony of redfoots in the future, but for now I will actively be searching for a South African leopard. I consulted with a colleague of mine who is a zoo/wildlife veterinarian and has a colony of leopards himself. He's never seen health issues in leopards kept here, despite the humidity in the area. South of here, the climate gets much more "tropical". I lived in Tampa for a while and it was noticeably different than it is here. So based on his experiences, and those of other friends who have leopards here, I feel ok with housing one outdoors despite the humidity.
 

Tom

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The South Africans seem to handle humidity and temperature extremes better than the normal leopards. I think this choice will make you happy down the road. They tend to all hatch in late August or early September. Good luck finding one. :)
 

LeopardTortLover

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Yay for leopards! Before you get one its a good idea to research them thoroughly as a lot of information online is outdated, a lot say they need to be kept dry but this causes pyramiding. There are some links to Tom's Leopard and Sulcata care in my signature. Baby leopards need at least 70% humidity and 80% is fine to stop pyramiding. They also need humid hides but you can learn all this in time :p good luck!
 

Tom

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LeopardTortLover said:
Yay for leopards! Before you get one its a good idea to research them thoroughly as a lot of information online is outdated, a lot say they need to be kept dry but this causes pyramiding. There are some links to Tom's Leopard and Sulcata care in my signature. Baby leopards need at least 70% humidity and 80% is fine to stop pyramiding. They also need humid hides but you can learn all this in time :p good luck!
The way I like to summarize all this is that for hatchling leopards and sulcatas, it is best to simulate the hot, humid, african rainy season, instead of the usually recommended desert conditions that they simply do not experience in the wild.
 

tyler0912

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REDFOOT! I'm kinda bias.. But they have great personalities very outgoing and love to follow you..Constantly!
 

FLGirl41

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Thank you for the reminders about husbandry! I am researching as much as I can and will make sure to provide the best care possible. I have several reptiles and always make sure to spoil my kiddos as much as possible. It's one of my favorite things to do-- setting up my pets' enclosures and making sure they're perfect. :) I'm sure several of you do the same!
 

FLGirl41

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Yeah, redfoots are definitely still on my mind. :) I can't deny that my climate is ideal for them. I was out maintaining my yard today and picturing how/where my pen will go. I can definitely envision having redfoots.

Choosing just one species is hard! The easy choice would be to get both, but I don't want to get in over my head, and since I'll be building a heated shed it's more practical for me to stick with ONE pen and ONE shed for the time being. :) In the future I can always build another of each if the bug becomes totally irresistable. :)
 

FLGirl41

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I'm leaning heavily now towards getting a couple of redfoots AND a leopard. I'd like to get at least two female subadult or adult redfoots, large enough to be housed outdoors from the start, and also get a leopard hatchling, which I can raise indoors and will give me plenty of time to construct a second enclosure outside. I just love torts!
 

Tom

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Don't do a pair. Do three or more. There is a thread on pairs in the second link in my signature. Tortoises usually don't do well in pairs.
 

FLINTUS

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Tom said:
Don't do a pair. Do three or more. There is a thread on pairs in the second link in my signature. Tortoises usually don't do well in pairs.
Most of the time this would be true but red foots are very sociable and will do just fine in a pair.
 

Tom

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FLINTUS said:
Tom said:
Don't do a pair. Do three or more. There is a thread on pairs in the second link in my signature. Tortoises usually don't do well in pairs.
Most of the time this would be true but red foots are very sociable and will do just fine in a pair.
I understand and have experienced the sociability of redfoots firsthand many times, and they often DON'T get along in pairs. They will generally fare better as singles or in groups. I am sure many people have kept them as pairs and they survived, but I have seen many times where males fight, males overly harass a female, and I even saw two females that did not get along until a mature male was added.

Pancakes are generally social too, but its the same story. Better as singles or groups, rather than pairs.

Jacqui keeps some of her hingebacks in pairs and claims it works well in her case. I don't have any hingeback experience, so I'll take her word for it.

For all the species that I do know, pairs are NOT a good idea.
 

Redstrike

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I'm going to agree with Tom on this.

I had a pair of redfoot hatchlings for about a year and one was overwhelmingly dominant over the other. Every morning the aggressor would steal food from the more passive individual. Leg bites and shoving were common between the two. I added two more to the group and it really changed the dynamics. The aggressor became apathetic about stealing food from the others - it's too much work to try and steal from three other tortoises - "better to keep your head down and eat what you've got". This is what I assume the tortoise was "thinking" (optimal foraging theory). I still have one (Mandarin) that is extremely passive and submissive. Usually s/he is fed separately from the others to ensure s/he isn't beat up.

Sometimes you get lucky with a pair, but I'd shoot for 3-5 if you're going to get more than one. They all have different personalities and things can change quickly. The alternative is to get two but always be prepared to house them separately.
 

FLGirl41

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Thank you for the advice. I was not aware that two redfoots may not get along. A friend of mine has a 1.2 redfoot group she may rehome to me, but she's not sure yet. I know they get along well, so that would be the most ideal situation.
 

mike taylor

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I would say red foot . Just because that are not to small but not to big if you have to put them in the house with you.
 
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