New to tortoise ownership and in need of help with identification

DeanL84

New Member
Joined
Sep 24, 2016
Messages
4
Hi everyone,
I just want to introduce the latest addition to our family and ask for some help from you guys. We have basically inherited a tortoise named Alfie from my great aunt who sadly passed away recently. To cut a long story short, I have absolutely no experience of looking after a tortoise of my own, even tho I'm familiar with Alfie (tho I do have 2 crested geckos ) and even if I did, Alfie has never had what you could call a typical pet tortoise life, so I want to make sure I don't stress him out by suddenly changing everything (is that even possible for a tortoise?) my aunt had always loved tortoises, ornament, fridge magnets, jumpers etc and had wanted one since she was small, and finally when she was in her 70s (12 years ago) she bought Alfie, after replying to an ad in the local paper, she went into town to meet a man and pick him up, she brought him home on the bus in her coat and when they got home he was put on the floor and that was it, he wandered freely about the house and garden during the summer and in winter he hibernated in a big box filled with blankets. She only ever seemed to feed him salad, lettuce, cucumber, carrot and tomatoes tho he only seemed to eat the cucumber and he enjoys dandelions when he's in the garden but I seriously doubt he has ever had the diet he needs, I bought the appropriate food but she was adamant he didn't like it (tho he is now tucking into the very same food ) I'm not even sure what species he actually is, my aunt was told he is a Mediterranean but I'm not sure. At the moment I've got a large plastic drawer set up for him during night time and when I'm out or it's not convenient to have him wander, I have 3 children (11,10 and 7) so for his own safety and obviously hygiene issues if I don't spot a poop , he simply cannot have the freedom he's used to. So I guess I'm just hoping that some of you more experienced tortoise owners can offer some advice on where to go from here, or at lest help me with the identification so I can research better because I might not have planned on owning a tortoise, but he was very important to my aunt, she would chat to him and tell us stories about "his adventures" I want to make sure he's happy and comfortable with us now, so any help would be very much appreciated

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Grandpa Turtle 144

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Apr 3, 2013
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10,893
Hello Dean
It looks to be a Russian tort to me !
You can go to the Russian tort section for the care info.
ImageUploadedByTortoise Forum1474755430.842073.jpg
 

DeanL84

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Sep 24, 2016
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4
Thanks for the quick reply, that was my suspicion after a quick google image search, night of research for me now
 

Yvonne G

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Hi Dean:

The little Russian tortoise is lucky you have taken over his care. It's quite obvious from his overgrown beak and bumpy shell that he hasn't had the best of care.

Wandering around the house isn't a good way to care for a young tortoise, and yes, your tortoise is a youngster. He's captive bred and I'd say under 5 years of age. There are just too many hazards on the floor of the house, to say nothing of the temperature and the danger of being stepped on, or closed in a door.

So be sure to read those threads linked above, read them with an open mind, and make changes to this little guy's care immediately. You may have to introduce new food slowly, mixed in with his old diet, gradually reducing the old and increasing the new/good.
 

DeanL84

New Member
Joined
Sep 24, 2016
Messages
4
Hey everyone, thanks so much for the replies, just to clarify, Dean is my surname, my first name is Loren, sorry for the confusion, it's just my usual username.
Alfie is definitely at least 12, as was pregnant with my eldest when my aunt first brought him home, so I remember to the month (May 04) I'm thinking the picture isn't really doing him justice Will post a couple more tomorrow as I'm currently in bed swatting up.
I'm so glad I joined here as I can now give him what he needs, bless my aunt, she loved him dearly but just wouldnt listen when I explained tortoises just aren't like your furry pets and have different needs. So are there any tips for the beak and bumpy shell? Or is it something the vet is gonna have to sort out? Again, I'm very grateful for any help
 

GingerLove

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Jun 2, 2016
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1,297
The beak is best taken care of by the vet, in my opinion. The first step to correcting the shell, however, is to give Alfie soaks in warm water. Just don't make it too deep or else they get scared and pull their heads in under the water. I can't wait to see more pictures of Alfie!
 

Gillian M

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Aug 28, 2014
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Jordan
Hi and welcome to the forum!

Please give your tort daily soaks in warm water; as he's pyramiding. Make sure there's enough warmth and enough humidity.

Any pics of his enclosure?
 

DeanL84

New Member
Joined
Sep 24, 2016
Messages
4
Hi and welcome to the forum!

Please give your tort daily soaks in warm water; as he's pyramiding. Make sure there's enough warmth and enough humidity.

Any pics of his enclosure?
I'm not at home at the mo so can't post a pic right now, but I've currently got a big (not big enough for long term) plastic storage drawer, lined with damp paper towels and a hide for him. I have been soaking him but will do so more often now. I'm taking him to the vets on Monday so he can have a proper check, I genuinely don't think he's ever been From there I will be getting the supplies to sort him out with a more suitable and permanent home After doing some research I can see there is so much he needs and hasn't been getting, I just hope I can get him to where he needs to be after so long.
 
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