So Cal Russian estivation? Brumation?

RosemaryDW

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Location (City and/or State)
Newport Coast, CA
My Russian left her “summer” burrow and moved into her fall/spring nightbox after our super hot weekend three weeks ago and basically hasn’t come out since. She’s never done this before. While she has brumated early once before she was clearly digging down outside in the spot outside she always attempts before we put her in the fridge; this is new behavior. It became much cooler within a few days and hasn’t gotten terribly hot since.

She’s not lost a ton of weight but I’m unsure what to do here. Is she estivating? Has she finally decided her night box is adequate winter shelter and is brumating? That normally means fridge time.

She hasn’t been as active this year as usual but hasn’t any trouble gaining weight or anything; she looks great.

I worry unnecessarily about her brumation every year so there is a good chance I’m just overthinking this but I’d appreciate feedback anyway. :)
 

RosemaryDW

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Location (City and/or State)
Newport Coast, CA
Bumping.

It’s now nearly six weeks and she’s still in that box. Digs a little but not like she would before brumating. Hasn’t eaten.

She seems perfectly fit. Takes a sip of water in her weekly soak, hasn’t lost any weight at all, fights just as much as ever when picked up for soaks, eyes look great, etc.

We’re nowhere close to cold nights here. I’d like to hold off putting her in the fridge until Halloween, that‘s closest to an “average” date as I can estimate for her and gives me a four-month max brumation period (depending on spring forecast) but if she isn’t digging down outside or losing weight should I just let her be for now? Our vet has always said Russians in our area may not brumate if they have a heat source but he also said they’d move around a bit. On occasion she’ll come out of her box in the morning to make the tinest loop of a walk; a bit like she might do when checking outside temps in the spring. That’s it.

I’m not at my wits end, as she is so fit, but I am mystified.
 

RosemaryDW

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Tortoise Club
5 Year Member
Platinum Tortoise Club
Location (City and/or State)
Newport Coast, CA
Her clock turned on: ready to brumate

We had perhaps one day this week where temps fell under sixty degrees. We’ve had fires here so I locked her box for a couple of days, to keep the worst of the ash and smoke out. Two days after opening the box back up I went to give her a soak and to my surprise she wasn’t there! I found her in her burrow, trying to dig (there is a cement floor under the dirt). Checking the video I found she’d been looping the yard a couple of times each day, going back and forth to her slightly heated night box. A few hours later I found her in ”her” spot on the side of the house; a place she’s dug into slightly and used on hot days.

Usually she spends quite a few days digging around for a good spot, coming up and down each day. Not this time; ninety minutes later she had dug perhaps a foot down in that spot. Okay then! Today’s the day! I dug her up and into the fridge she went.

My hope was to make it to Halloween, so close enough. Now we wait the four long months until we see her again. Perhaps she will find 2021 a better year and the rest of us as
 

Maro2Bear

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Location (City and/or State)
Glenn Dale, Maryland, USA
Her clock turned on: ready to brumate

We had perhaps one day this week where temps fell under sixty degrees. We’ve had fires here so I locked her box for a couple of days, to keep the worst of the ash and smoke out. Two days after opening the box back up I went to give her a soak and to my surprise she wasn’t there! I found her in her burrow, trying to dig (there is a cement floor under the dirt). Checking the video I found she’d been looping the yard a couple of times each day, going back and forth to her slightly heated night box. A few hours later I found her in ”her” spot on the side of the house; a place she’s dug into slightly and used on hot days.

Usually she spends quite a few days digging around for a good spot, coming up and down each day. Not this time; ninety minutes later she had dug perhaps a foot down in that spot. Okay then! Today’s the day! I dug her up and into the fridge she went.

My hope was to make it to Halloween, so close enough. Now we wait the four long months until we see her again. Perhaps she will find 2021 a better year and the rest of us as

Good luck & in for a long Winter’s nap.
 
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