New "Mom" to a Desert Tortoise

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TortoiseKisser

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Hi, I recently acquired a desert tortoise who I believe is about ten years old. It's a boy and his name is Rocky. Although he's my first tortoise, I'm somewhat familiar because my ex-boyfriend has three males. Rocky has the whole backyard, places to dig, lots of weeds to eat, shade and sun. But he is obsessed with climbing the wall and lately I find him flipped over almost every day! For the past week it's been bad. I am home a lot this summer, so I can check on him throughout the day, but I'm afraid to go anywhere for any length of time for fear he'll die. The place it's happening is in the sun. I've blocked off most of his access, but need to find a more permanent way because he still climbs the boards and flips. Most of the time he is not even trying to right himself when I get on the scene. Maybe he's tired out, or maybe he's just waiting for me to save him. I check on him every 2-3 hours, so he's not ever out there too long, but geez, I can't keep doing this. I start work next month (teacher) and don't want to worry about this anymore! What can I do?
 

Missy

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Take him to school with you, LOL. Can he see over? If he can see the other side he will keep trying to get there.
 

Yvonne G

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Hi TortoiseKisser:

Welcome to the forum!!

Desert tortoises are VERY territorial. Your tortoise is trying to get out of there and go back to where he thought of as "home."

Just give him some time to realize he IS home. Lots of love, plenty of food and water, he'll come around and quit trying to climb the fence. To take his mind off of escaping, you might give him a whole branch off the mullberry tree, or off the grape vine. Just something to keep him busy and forget trying to escape.
 

dmmj

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Welcome to the forum
 

ChiKat

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Welcome to the forum! Congrats on your new addition :)

What grade do you teach? In May I graduated with a bachelor's in elementary education. :)
 

TortoiseKisser

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Hello, and thanks everybody...
He usually can't see out unless one of the boards falls or he knocks it down. It's hard to explain, but I used wood from trees I planted, that is already nailed together. I stacked them upright, next to each other, to form a temporary wall. I will get a single board, maybe tomorrow, to fit the exact space. I did get the impression he was trying to get out to go "home," and I've been trying to distract him with fruit and flowers to eat. Sometimes it works. Before I limited his access, he could go down the side of the house to the gate in the front and see out. I'd always find him there trying to get out even though he couldn't fit under. So he knows what's out there. He's smart and persistent. I will try the grapevine, as my neighbor's grapevine is growing over my wall. Thanks again and btw ChiKat, I teach 3rd grade. A wonderful year for kids. : )
 
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