Puzzled New Tortoise Mom...

Mommabear

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Joined
Oct 22, 2014
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35
Location (City and/or State)
Ventura Co. CA
Hi all,
I am going to do my best to upload a picture of a baby turtle we found last week. We have contacted neighbors and can't figure out where the little guy came from.
I am on my laptop and took the pics on my phone. Yes, I'm a computer idiot since my son left for college.
Anyways almost stepped on this little guy as we were leaving by our front door. I really thought he had hurt his legs and in bad shape. Re-hydrated and fed some kale, spinach, etc. and after a while all of the poor little guys limbs came back to life along with the little eyes.
Have had in a box inside. Misting. Tiny saucer of water, feeding leafy veggies etc. Looks like the gardener may have grazed his shell with the weed wacker. Put half a tiny new clay pot upside down which he loves to sleep in and a tiny saucer of water. Every afternoon has been spent in the yard in an upside down wire container I had and just loves the sun for a couple hours and munches the dandelions. (Always shade if needed)
Purchased new sterile orchid bark and coconut which I will put in tomorrow for burrowing.
The little guy seems very content now but I am very concerned at what to do. My husband wants to keep him and if I don't know how to give proper care our local college (Moorpark) has a Zoology program that is VERY good and would rather bring him there if that is best.
I have taken care of and nursed back baby hummingbirds in the yard, bunnies, dogs, etc. but we haven't had turtles since my son was little. There are possums, hawks, rats, the hwy, etc. which is why we have him.
Should I build a home out back or bring the little guy to the college. A neighbor hasn't claimed him.

Thank You so much!
Mama
 

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wellington

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You do have yourself a very cute tortoise. I'm guessing a baby CDT. But others will confirm as I'm not very good with IDing some species. We have all the help you will need on this forum if you want to keep him. However, there are laws in Cali about keeping CDT and I'm not sure what you would have to do about that. @Yvonne G will be able to help you more on that.
Good luck and Welcome.
 

Mommabear

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Oct 22, 2014
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Location (City and/or State)
Ventura Co. CA
Thanks, that's what we thought but are trying to figure out how the the little guy got here. So far I have been doing a lot of reading and appreciate the advice. I was concerned about the laws also.

Thanks
 

Grandpa Turtle 144

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Hello and welcome to the TFO from AZ. Have agreat tort day !


Sent from my iPhone using TortForum
 

Yvonne G

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Hi, and welcome to the Forum!

Most likely it was dropped by a bird. Birds are very smart creatures when it comes to finding food, and they drop baby tortoises from a high distance in order to pop them open to get at the insides.

Your tortoise is a desert tortoise (Gopherus agassizii), and is protected by law. It belongs to the State, however, it is perfectly ok for you to care for it. In a couple of years you will need to apply for a permit, but wait until it's about 3 years old.
 

pam

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Welcome :) Sooooooooooooooooooooooooo cute :)
 

Tom

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Hello and welcome. The care and feeding for your desert tortoise is very similar to russian tortoises. I have raised many of both species. Follow this care sheet and your baby should live and thrive:
http://www.tortoiseforum.org/threads/russian-tortoise-care-sheet.80698/

This one should help too:
http://www.tortoiseforum.org/threads/beginner-mistakes.45180/

I am a graduate of Moorpark. There is no one up there who knows how to raise tortoises, much less start babies. This tortoise will be much better off with you, if you stay here and take advice from people who have raised dozens of them over many years. The main killer of these babies is dehydration. Prevent this with daily soaks, damp substrate and a humid hide.

By the way, your area is an excellent place to house them. Your climate is great for them. I lived there for two years.

Welcome to the tortoise forum!
 
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