Rescued baby DT update, 18 mos

MoreCowbellAz

Member
Joined
Sep 19, 2019
Messages
49
Location (City and/or State)
Phoenix, Az
I’ve been AWOL for awhile, Some of you may recall I rescued an orphan and lost baby DT back in September 2019 and I came to this forum in a panic crash course to learn how to care for him and provide a good home. I peppered everyone with questions on everything from diet, lighting, and even constructed and expanded PVC enclosure for him last May. I knew nothing about caring for a tortoise, and I learned a ton that’s for sure with the help of many of the folks on this forum.

Im happy to report that baby DT, now called Charlee, is healthy and thriving. Since I’ve had him he’s grown from slightly larger than a quarter to roughly the size of the palm of my hand. In the pictures below you can see The difference between current vs back on the day I rescued him. Or her.

i’m still learning and trying to perfect her habitat as she grows, but so far so good. enjoy the pics!


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Tom

The Dog Trainer
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
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Jan 9, 2010
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54,443
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Great work!

I see so many DT stories that don't end well. It brings me great happiness to see one thriving, growing and healthy. Thanks for posting.
 

MoreCowbellAz

Member
Joined
Sep 19, 2019
Messages
49
Location (City and/or State)
Phoenix, Az
By all indications she is doing well, I Think she looks good and acts good as best I can tell. I always feel like it’s a work in process though, I often have a crisi of confidence and feel like I never know enough and I am constantly observing her to try to learn her behaviors better so I can understand what is ”normal”. Half the time I don’t even feel like I know what I’m doing so I spend a massive amount of time researching, thinking, tweaking, etc. lol. It’s so easy to go down a rabbit hole with all of the information out there, much of it contradictory. I generally rely on the info I find in this forum more than anything, but I look at other sources to so I can evaluate.

Below are pics of her enclosure, it’s 3’ x 4’, she mainly lives indoors so far but I take her outside nearly every day so she can roam around a bit in the natural outdoors. Mind you, she still loves to spend most of her time in one of her hides, so her roaming around time is pretty limited both inside and out. I don’t see any indication that she is frightened or lethargic, she just seems lazy and really comfortable in there. Temperatures are all good, Mid 80’s ambient in the day, a basking lamp, upper 60’s to low 70’s at Night depending on the time of year. So I get the feeling that these little ones just don’t like to spend that much time out in the open.

Left to right The silver domes are basking, daylight LED, and CHE Only used in the winter (she hasn’t been hibernated yet In either of her two winters so far). The black thing on rails is the UVB tube, Zoomed T8 10.0. The rails are some thing I came up with so I can easily move the UVB to where I need it. Two hides, one on the warm side and one on the cool side. No live plants as of yet but I grow weeds, grass, cactus, and other stuff to feed her. She LOVES zoomed grassland pellets too.

I am thinking about putting and Arcadia 12% bulb in so I can have it raised up a bit instead of down low like what I have now, but it sounds like those shouldn’t be on all day in which case I need to find a substitute for normal lighting because I don’t want it too dark in there. Remember, she’s not out roaming around that long each day so with my luck the times the Arcadia would be on would be the Times she’s in her hide sleeping. So that’s the newest thing that I am stumped on.

any advice is appreciated. 191335FB-89B6-4D7F-B6CF-702E18674275.jpeg DD210FD6-D338-489F-93AE-E3C6C5836E6A.jpeg
 
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