Russian wont come out of hiding, help


New Member
Jun 22, 2020
Location (City and/or State)
Got my russian tortoise about 14 months ago, and he has been perfectly happy until about the last 2 months.
Now he burries himself in his hide, and won't come out. I basically force him to come out one a week to soak and offer food, but he goes right back in.

Any thoughts?

I know he has outgrown his current indoor tank, and we are building his new much larger outdoor home today... so im hoping the sun, fresh air and new environment perk him up a bit. Because he has me worried...


Well-Known Member
Tortoise Club
Platinum Tortoise Club
Jul 8, 2017
Location (City and/or State)
Low desert 50 mi SE of Palm Springs CA
Hi! Sorry your tortoise isn't feeling well.

Did you make any changes to his enclosure 2 months ago? Anything at all new, or different?

Are you saying he stays in his hide continually for a week at a time? No eating, no drinking until you bring him out?

Is he an adult, or was he a hatchling 14 months ago? Did you get him at a pet store?

I know it's a lot of questions, but it's info we need to try to figure out what's wrong.

Are you sure he's warm enough? He doesn't need a lot of heat, especially at night, but he does need a good basking light to warm up in the AM. Often, we find that being too cold will make a tort stop eating. But that doesn't usually stop them from coming out and walking around.

With his enclosure being too small, have you taken him outside to get a good walk? If he's not walking, he can't digest his food, so he would stop eating. If he's impacted, he feels rough and might stay in his hide.

I hope one of these possibilities resonates with you. In the meantime, read our care sheet, even if you have read it before. Something may pop out at you that could be the trouble.