Rescue Tortoise - doesn’t like the sun

June Burletson

New Member
Jun 5, 2020
Location (City and/or State)
Alicante, Spain
I live in Spain and have had my tortoise called Colin for about one year. He was rescued from the bad floods here a year ago with 41 others. The problem is we bought a rabbit hutch when we first got him (I say him, but really have no idea if it is male or female) as we didn’t have a safe place to keep him. Anyway, last year he loved the sun all day and went into his house when it turned a bit cold. He spent most of the winter in his house only coming out roughly once every 3 weeks for something to eat. The problem is that he won’t sit in the sun. If we open the top of the hutch to let the sun in, he moves under the straw and buries himself in, He happily walks down the ramp to eat - only lettuce - I have tried him with every food going, but he will not eat anything else. I put vitamins on his lettuce and he will eat round them if he can. The second he has had enough to eat, he disappears back up the ramp and buries himself in again. We have tried bathing hiim, but he sulks for about 4 days and won’t come out, We have also tried putting him in the garden, but he hides behind the plant pots in the shade. The main thing is that he is still alive as the other 7 homed in our area have all died, but should we be worried he not behaving normally, The temperature here is about 30 degrees.
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Well-Known Member
Tortoise Club
Jul 15, 2019
Location (City and/or State)
Bumping in hope a Mediterranean species expert sees this. They can tell you more about making a garden habitat.

Most torts don't like bright light and shouldn't be in direct sunlight. Even cloudy days can provide UVB. Let him hide :) You can enrich his home by giving him even more hiding spots.

It's not unusual for tortoises to have a boring schedule - wake up, eat, maybe wander a bit, then go right back to bed.

Some tortoises don't like the powders (maybe the smell?). You can wet down and mush up some timothy-based pellets and spread it on his lettuce. Even if he tries to eat around it, he'll still ingest some of the vitamins and fiber. If you haven't offered cuttlebone, leave one out for him and see if he'll eat calcium on his own.