Of Sulcatas

Status
Not open for further replies.

Neal

Well-Known Member
10 Year Member!
Joined
Apr 15, 2010
Messages
4,948
Location (City and/or State)
Arizona
Hello everyone!
I'm still new to this forum, and actually have never participated in any other type of forum before. Anyways, I thought my post would fit best in this section my apologies if it would have been best placed somewhere else.

Today my wife and I had the opportunity of volunteering at the Phoenix Herpetological Society (www.phoenixherps.com for more info!). Great facility, and we really got the sense that the animals there were being cared for in the most humane and proper manner. As a quick summary they basically take in unwanted / abused / illegal reptiles and attempt to relocate them or provide a permanent home there at the facility.

We were given the WONDERFUL task of raking up sulcata poop! (Not complaining just being a smart a**, it was actually quite rewarding :). They had two large pens absolutely full of adult sulcatas. I tried to count and ended up close to 200. I ran into the veterinarian I take my tortoises to who volunteers there as well, and we told him how shocked we were at the amount of sulcatas there were. He told us how it is a problem; a lot of people just don’t know what they’re getting into with these types of tortoises.

It was really quite sad to see so many grown sulcatas there that people either gave up or mistreated. Granted I’m sure some of those came from families affected by the current economy, there were just so many. All of them had amazing personalities. As soon as we got in the pen they all came running towards us, they let us pet their heads, and tried to bite our feet…what more could you ask for in a pet tortoise?

Who would ever give up such an animal? A rhetorical question I guess as I’m sure most of us familiar with tortoises know sulcatas breed so well and the young sell so well, it’s short term satisfaction…long term responsibility that so many people don’t want. After today I almost feel angry at those types of people. So I guess my issue is with the breeders out to make a quick buck, and buyers who don’t do their homework. After saying that, I should point out that there are responsible sulcata breeders out there, but it seems to me those types are few and far between.

So, if anyone else sees this as an issue…what can WE do about it? Surely there are enough members here with some prominence in the tortoise community that we can start some kind of, I don’t know awareness or, dare I say, movement. If you really have a passion for these animals I would hope you would at least give that question some thought and not conclude that there is nothing of great significance we could do about it. Maybe nothing will really come of this discussion, or maybe I’m not making any sense, but after seeing what I did today I agree with my vet that there is a problem here with these tortoises and I feel I should at the least bring awareness of this issue but more than that I am willing to put my neck out there and DO something about it. What exactly I don’t know, but I am hopeful something tangible would come from this discussion.
 

Laura

Well-Known Member
10 Year Member!
5 Year Member
Joined
Sep 5, 2007
Messages
7,502
Location (City and/or State)
Foothills above Sacramento CA
Education is the key...i tried to see the pics of the place.. but couldnt.. if you could post some.. I did see a few .. some sad looking critters as well as some nice ones.. what do you feed 200 adult sulcatas? and I would love to see pics of thier housing and just MORE INFO! I would love to take more in.. but the logistics of housing and f they dont get along and the heating and food!
 

Neal

Well-Known Member
10 Year Member!
Joined
Apr 15, 2010
Messages
4,948
Location (City and/or State)
Arizona
Laura said:
Education is the key...i tried to see the pics of the place.. but couldnt.. if you could post some.. I did see a few .. some sad looking critters as well as some nice ones.. what do you feed 200 adult sulcatas? and I would love to see pics of thier housing and just MORE INFO! I would love to take more in.. but the logistics of housing and f they dont get along and the heating and food!

I just checked their website and under the photos tab on the left there were some pictures of the sulcatas under "turtles and tortoises". We didn't bring our camera with us this trip, we're going to try to get out there once a month so next time I'll see if no one would mind us taking a few pictures with the tortoises. They were housed in large pens, enough to get some good exercise with that amount of tortoises. There were a few warm houses made of wood with heat lamps in them in each pen, as well as those dog igloo things with heat lamps, and lots and lots of deep burrows the tortoises made. Other than that just trees and brush that grows all over here in the AZ desert. We didn't stay too long and missed the feeding part, but hay is definatley staple of their diet as it was all over, not sure which type. I would assume as a non profit organization they don't have much trouble receiving food donations or something of that manner, but as far as specifics I couldn't tell you. I can tell you is that they are getting enough to eat and pooping a whole lot!
 

Stephanie Logan

Active Member
10 Year Member!
Joined
Aug 17, 2009
Messages
3,415
Location (City and/or State)
Colorado
Wow. Welcome to the forum.

You need to contact TylerStewart in Las Vegas (if you run an ad in the For Sale section of the forum maybe he'll see it and respond); maybe you guys could meet halfway somewhere, as he is always able to find homes for Sulcata tortoises, and the market in Nevada is not saturated as it must be in Phoenix. I hope you find homes for all of those Sulcata so they don't have to live in crowded pens anymore.

How nice of you to volunteer to take care of these critters. Here's a couple of threads that have been devoted to the Sulcata "problem" here on this forum: http://tortoiseforum.org/thread-9550.html , http://tortoiseforum.org/thread-12290.html , http://tortoiseforum.org/thread-13923.html
 

Neal

Well-Known Member
10 Year Member!
Joined
Apr 15, 2010
Messages
4,948
Location (City and/or State)
Arizona
TylerStewart said:
Stephanie Logan said:
You need to contact TylerStewart in Las Vegas; maybe you guys could meet halfway somewhere, as he is always able to find homes for Sulcata tortoises, and the market in Nevada is not saturated as it must be in Phoenix. I hope you find homes for all of those Sulcata so they don't have to live in crowded pens anymore.

How nice of you to volunteer to take care of these critters. Here's a couple of threads that have been devoted to the Sulcata "problem" here on this forum: http://tortoiseforum.org/thread-9550.html , http://tortoiseforum.org/thread-12290.html , http://tortoiseforum.org/thread-13923.html

I touched base with this "rescue" about going down there and taking a large number of sulcatas off their hands as soon as this weekend. The reply I got was that they adopt out male sulcatas only, and at the cost of $5 to $10 per pound based on how they look.... So basically, an 80 pound good looking male would go for $800, ugly ones for $400. This was the price given to me when I offered to pick up a large quantity.

I have always offered to take in any unwanted sulcatas in my area.... I have never offered to pay adoption fees. I have plenty of space for adult sulcatas; I'll even go pick them up in Phx at my cost. I am not even against paying a reasonable adoption fee... Problem is, these are not reasonable adoption fees. They're apparently "in demand" enough that they're asking and/or getting top dollar for them. This is the problem: the word gets out that there's no homes for them, and people get all emotional about it and get upset at people breeding sulcatas. Someone please let me know when dozens of adult sulcatas that are really abandoned, unwanted, or mistreated are actually available.

Based on the information I collected from their website (which I gave an incorrect address it is www.phoenixherp.com) and talking with the people there, these sulcatas were abandoned and unwanted. I do not imply that they are currently mistreated, or the need to find these particular tortoises homes is urgent...nor do I suggest some type of rescue operation to take a bunch of tortoises "off their hands" as they are equiped to handle the the amount of tortoises they have. It's how they got there in the first place that I have an issue with. I agree their adoption fees are steep, but it would seem to me that they are trying to discourage breeding of these animals hence the "male only" rule, which I think is a good thing.
 

dmmj

The member formerly known as captain awesome
Moderator
10 Year Member!
Joined
Aug 15, 2008
Messages
19,752
Location (City and/or State)
CA
why do the pretty ones always cost more?
 

-EJ

New Member
10 Year Member!
5 Year Member
Joined
Jan 10, 2008
Messages
983
Location (City and/or State)
Georgia
You get what you pay for... that's just good business.

dmmj said:
why do the pretty ones always cost more?
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top