Should I Buy a Wild Caught Hingeback?

2turtletom

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After nearly a two-year absence of imported hingebacks on the U.S. market, some have started coming into the U.S. this year. If you do consider purchasing a wild caught animal, be sure to ask lots of questions to the seller. IF IN DOUBT, I'm here to answer any question about an animal that you might want to purchase. Feel free to post questions to the group, or message me directly if you'd like to keep the conversation discreet.
Things to ask sellers of hingebacks:
  1. Who imported the animals?
  2. How did you obtain the animals?
  3. How confident are you that the animals are the species that you believe they are?
  4. What conditions have the animals been kept in?
  5. How long has it been since they were imported?
  6. What are you feeding the animals?
  7. Have they been treated for parasites and what types of parasites with which medications have they been treated with?
This is just a start. The bottom line is that Wild Caught hingebacks are VERY, VERY difficult to establish in captivity. It requires a TON of HARD WORK, dedication, and individual attention to each tortoise. Many of those that didn't grow up in the hobby in the 1980's and 90's don't remember when zillions of hingebacks came in, and most died. Ultimately, it's my goal and many others to place the ones that are imported into good homes, and we're always here to help you! So ask, ask, ask!

-Tom
 

Blackdog1714

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After seeing all the suitcase smugglers and tortoises houses over seas, I am a captive born in the US, TFO'er with good references guy. The work you have to do to ensure you are getting a healthy animal is daunting. The closest I got was years ago when my mom bought a german import Rottweiler.
 

Blackdog1714

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I would search Undeground Reptiles on TFO first. I think there are two threads for some sulcata fungus
 

Relic

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In the sunny south...
After nearly a two-year absence of imported hingebacks on the U.S. market, some have started coming into the U.S. this year. If you do consider purchasing a wild caught animal, be sure to ask lots of questions to the seller. IF IN DOUBT, I'm here to answer any question about an animal that you might want to purchase. Feel free to post questions to the group, or message me directly if you'd like to keep the conversation discreet.
Things to ask sellers of hingebacks:
  1. Who imported the animals?
  2. How did you obtain the animals?
  3. How confident are you that the animals are the species that you believe they are?
  4. What conditions have the animals been kept in?
  5. How long has it been since they were imported?
  6. What are you feeding the animals?
  7. Have they been treated for parasites and what types of parasites with which medications have they been treated with?
This is just a start. The bottom line is that Wild Caught hingebacks are VERY, VERY difficult to establish in captivity. It requires a TON of HARD WORK, dedication, and individual attention to each tortoise. Many of those that didn't grow up in the hobby in the 1980's and 90's don't remember when zillions of hingebacks came in, and most died. Ultimately, it's my goal and many others to place the ones that are imported into good homes, and we're always here to help you! So ask, ask, ask!

-Tom
Testify. I got a 1980 model hingeback from an importer in Florida (Pet Farm) and it lasted less than 6 months. My unbridled enthusiasm could not makeup for my sheer lack of husbandry knowledge. And I naively thought all tortoises would be as easy as a native box turtle...
 

KarenSoCal

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I'm just curious...why are they so difficult? I understand the huge adjustment to captivity, but is there something different in their requirements?
 

2turtletom

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I'm just curious...why are they so difficult? I understand the huge adjustment to captivity, but is there something different in their requirements?
Well, a few things. First up, most people think they're just like "any other tortoise" and their care is quite different, for many reasons. Second, they've always been really cheap- that means they tend to be purchased by inexperienced keepers that don't have a lot of money, when in actuality, acclimating a Kinixys can cost thousands in vet bills. It also can take hours and hours of your time, since acclimating requires lots of individual attention, potentially trying out a wide variety of foods, and daily 1-hour soaks at a minimum. Because they are cheap, they've always been seen as a volume item to the middle men, so their strategy is to turn them over quickly rather then setting them up properly, finding out what foods they should be eating, etc. It's a vicious cycle and for the general hobbyist I recommend purchasing captive bred Kinixys, which there is a small market for, and once the Kinixys Working Group gets cranking, hopefully that market will be larger. First we have to establish the assurance colonies... In general, I expect most of the recently imported animals to die, unfortunately. The Tortoise Trust article really shows what it takes to establish WC Kinixys. http://www.tortoisetrust.org/articles/kinixys.html
 

2turtletom

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Location (City and/or State)
Columbus, Ohio
Testify. I got a 1980 model hingeback from an importer in Florida (Pet Farm) and it lasted less than 6 months. My unbridled enthusiasm could not makeup for my sheer lack of husbandry knowledge. And I naively thought all tortoises would be as easy as a native box turtle...
Do you remember the species by chance? Just curious...
 

Jacqui

Wanna be raiser of Lemon Drop tortoises
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Dang, now I wish I were rich. Lol I try NOT to look at selling sites.

I can't say I had a hard time working with any of my wc hingebacks, except for a couple of individual who were very very stubborn. Lol I think the hardest part were folks had problems keeping them going long term (several years).
 
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