Kia Ora from NZ

Chrissyharp

New Member
Joined
Mar 22, 2021
Messages
5
Location (City and/or State)
New Zealand
We have had a gopher tortoise in our family for 57 years. They are extremely rare here. My parents bought her when they were first married, I think for the equivalent of more than a weeks wages. She was estimated to be about 12 years old at the time. A neighbour owned a pet shop and imported some from the US, when it was still legal. She has been a constant in our lives ever since. Famous for being the cause of a car accident after my mother forgot about her on the front lawn and she went for a wander across the road. Rocks don't usually move in New Zealand. A couple of weeks ago she had a hemorrhage due to an infection but after two surgeries cutting through her shell, seems to be recovering well, on morphine for another week and will be on antibiotics for 6 months. She has now started hissing at my sister who is responsible for the 3 injections a day, Can't blame her for that but upsetting for my sister. As you can imagine its all costing a small fortune but after all these years she owes us nothing and after the distress her simply being unwell caused us all, losing her is unthinkable.
 

Attachments

  • Hardy 3[1927].jpg
    Hardy 3[1927].jpg
    264.5 KB · Views: 16
  • Hardy 12[1931].jpg
    Hardy 12[1931].jpg
    125.9 KB · Views: 17

Ink

Well-Known Member
Tortoise Club
5 Year Member
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jun 10, 2016
Messages
1,058
Location (City and/or State)
Virginia
Hopefully an expert will be able to help you with the care of your tortoise. Welcome to the forum. Can you attach pictures of the enclosure, lights, and foods that she eats?
 

Armadillogroomer

Well-Known Member
Tortoise Club
Joined
Jul 15, 2019
Messages
219
Location (City and/or State)
OK
Welcome to the forum!

If it makes your sister feel better, a lot of our spoiled turtles/tortoises hiss at us without giving them shots! 😅
 

Chrissyharp

New Member
Joined
Mar 22, 2021
Messages
5
Location (City and/or State)
New Zealand
Hopefully an expert will be able to help you with the care of your tortoise. Welcome to the forum. Can you attach pictures of the enclosure, lights, and foods that she eats?
Normally in summer she has the run of the back garden. It is fenced for her, She eats what she finds in the garden (organic), with supplementary feeds such as prickly pear, and greens. She is very seasonal with her eating, for instance she devours clover flowers at the start of summer but refuses to eat them in late summer. Dandelion flowers are favorite. She is hibernated over winter. As she can't hibernate this year due to ongoing antibiotic treatment we have bought her a terrarium 1200mm x 600mm which was the biggest I could find. There isn't much choice in NZ due to the lack of reptiles and demand. We are keeping it at 30 c as advised by the vet. There are lights, I am not sure what they are but the vet has approved them. She has coir bedding. I would welcome advice on foods as this will be the first time she will be solely supplement fed.
 

Chrissyharp

New Member
Joined
Mar 22, 2021
Messages
5
Location (City and/or State)
New Zealand
You say reptiles are pretty scarce in NZ. Then what a blessing to find a vet that could do such surgery!

When did she have her surgery? Is she eating for you?
Yes reptiles are scarce, apart from Tuatara (Sphenodon punctatus) the sole surviving member of its order which originated in the Triassic period, 3 equally archaic species of frog (all endangered and highly protected) and a few skinks. No snakes either native or imported. nor native turtles or tortoises.
Her initial surgery to stop the bleeding was with a local vet who also is a zoologist. She then went out of town to a specialist exotic animal vet. Her scans and blood results were reviewed by another specialist vet in Belgium. She had her surgery 10 days ago and yes she is eating thankfully.
 

Ray--Opo

Well-Known Member
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Oct 14, 2017
Messages
5,108
Location (City and/or State)
Palm Bay Fl
My prayers are with you all. 57 years! You all must be doing it right. We have gopher tortoises wild here in Florida. They are protected here.
 

Chrissyharp

New Member
Joined
Mar 22, 2021
Messages
5
Location (City and/or State)
New Zealand
My prayers are with you all. 57 years! You all must be doing it right. We have gopher tortoises wild here in Florida. They are protected here.
We know little about gopher tortoises in captivity or longevity. How long is she likely to live? She has laid eggs on a couple of occasions but infertile of course
 

Ray--Opo

Well-Known Member
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Oct 14, 2017
Messages
5,108
Location (City and/or State)
Palm Bay Fl
We know little about gopher tortoises in captivity or longevity. How long is she likely to live? She has laid eggs on a couple of occasions but infertile of course
I did a little research. I came up with 40 to 60 years in the wild. 90+ in captivity.
 

Yvonne G

Old Timer
TFO Admin
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jan 23, 2008
Messages
88,205
Location (City and/or State)
Clovis, CA
Hi, and welcome to the Forum!
 
Top