Looking For A Russian Tortoise

Karechan

New Member
Joined
Nov 25, 2018
Messages
4
Location (City and/or State)
Pacific, Missouri
Hello!

I'm new to the forums, and as stated in my introductory post, I'm experienced with owning dogs and small mammals (especially rats) but my only experience with reptiles has been two anoles I had as a kid. However, I am looking to get a companion who will be more of a solid rock in my life that has so far been a revolving door of rodents.

I've done a lot of research and believe a Russian Tortoise would be the best fit for me. I currently live in an apartment (in the St. Louis, Missouri area) where he wouldn't be able to go outside but I plan to buy a house (in central Illinois) towards the middle/end of next year (2019) where he'll be able to be outside in the yard sometimes. I checked to make sure my existing exotic vets see this species and I should be good to go.

Long story short, I am looking for recommendations of where to get my new pal.

I am looking for an established, captive bred adult male. I do not want one that was captured from the wild both because of potential health concerns and because I feel it is unethical to take wild animals from their natural habitats for the pet trade. I want an adult because I am concerned over the "fragility" of a hatchling and the extra care they seem to require.

Now comes the question of where I get him. I have not been able to find any in rescues nearby nor can I find any breeders near me.

So that leaves me strongly considering purchasing him online.

The only place I have been able to find that offers captive bred adults is TortoiseTown/CBReptile, which appear to be run by the same people and do not seem to enjoy a good reputation among you guys.

I know you guys here have strongly recommended Arizona Tortoise Compound and Tortoise Supply. However, both seem to only offer cb hatchlings or imported/wild caught adults. I also saw this thread (https://www.tortoiseforum.org/threads/arizona-tortoise-compound-terrible-experience.141229/) and how the incident was (well-documented and self-admittedly) handled honestly put me (as someone fairly well-connected with the animal field) off from wanting to buy from Arizona Tortoise Compound.

So my questions are several.

1) What kind of additional care do hatchlings need and are my reasons for not wanting one really justified/valid?

2) Why do Arizona Tortoise Compound and Tortoise Supply come so highly recommended from you guys when they sell wild caught animals?

3) I am not sure how comfortable I am buying/adopting a tortoise from someone on these forums when I know your credentials just as well as I know TortoiseTown or any of these other online vendors. Wouldn't it be safer to go through an established business with a live arrival/7-day guarantee?

4) With all this in mind, what are your recommendations for where I should buy/adopt my tortoise?

Thanks a bunch!
 

Cheryl Hills

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 1, 2016
Messages
2,343
Location (City and/or State)
Youngstown, Ohio
We have many experienced breeders here on this site. Most other places have outdated info including some vets. My opinion would be to stick here on the forum. I have 9 Russians and most were gotten from here in the adoption section. As for wild caught, most pet stores sell wild caught. If you want a captive born, you will probably have to go with a juvenile or baby. In our Russian section, there are info sheets which tell you how to raise a baby right. Good luck with your search. And welcome to the forum,
 

Karechan

New Member
Joined
Nov 25, 2018
Messages
4
Location (City and/or State)
Pacific, Missouri
Thank you for your reply! Sorry, I guess my terminology isn't entirely correct - I am okay with an established juvenile or yearling. I just don't think I want a baby.

I'll continue to monitor the forums - you guys all seem really knowledgeable and great. If anyone has something akin to what I'm looking for please be sure to let me know. Thanks again!
 

T Smart

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Oct 25, 2012
Messages
458
Location (City and/or State)
Chicago, IL
Hi,

Welcome to the forum!

Caring for a hatchling isn't as difficult as it seems. Here are some of the links @Cheryl Hills was referring to.

http://www.tortoiseforum.org/threads/beginner-mistakes.45180/
http://www.tortoiseforum.org/threads/russian-tortoise-care-sheet.80698/

Husbandry is essentially the same, except for differences in humidity and overall attention. It's true that hatchlings have a smaller margin for error due to their size; but if you stick to advice here on the forum you'll be just fine!

I'll echo the above in saying that finding an established captive bred tortoise is very rare. Most owners aren't willing to part with their babies they've raised for years. If your set on captive bred, your best bet is to buy from a reputable breeder here on the forum or an online vendor.

Best,

-Thomas S.
 

surfergirl

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 20, 2015
Messages
489
If you read the care sheets and do your research you should have zero problems with a well started baby. Not sure if Carol S or some of the other Russian breeders on here have any still available but if they do that would be some fine breeders to buy from.
 

Meemaj

New Member
Joined
Dec 30, 2018
Messages
3
Location (City and/or State)
Portland, OR
Looking for established but young Russian. Great info on this site, but a bit tough to navigate.
 
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