Still at the "research" level - please help?

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Orillion

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Have read and read and read; still at the 'research' level. Not even sure if a tortoise is for us, let alone exploring which kind we'd like to adopt. Looking for advice, please. If it turns out that we're not the "Ideal" parents then we will look into other types of 'sons/daughters' to complete our household.

We live in London, Ontario, Canada. One of us stays home all day, and is able/willing to walk a tort if needed.
We are fostering a 5 year old pug/beagle cross which should be adopted to her 'forever home' before leaving this place. We also have a guinea pig whom we adore. She's in a C&C open ceiling cage at 2.5 x 3.5 feet. The piggie is almost three; they don't live forever. The C&C enclosure can be converted if need be, after a really good washing and sanitization. We also have a pet cricket - yes, bought as a pet. She's been with us since the second week of December of last year. What a trooper!

Right now we're in an apartment, but will be buying a smaller property with a fenced yard. We are wanting to put in the habitat first, plant up a garden both inside and out and ensure that there's an inside 'rest-haven' for the cold weather. We prefer the cooler temperatures (18C - 20C) throughout the home, but the garden room would be kept at 23C-25C. Other room(s) could also be kept warmer than we personally prefer.

:temps for our American cousins - 64F - 68F preferred for the humans, 73F - 77F (or more if needed) for the plant room/possible tortoise room too)

We understand that there are four temperatures to monitor, hidey holes to construct, shallow water dishes, humidity to adjust, etc. Whatever the tortchild needs, the tortchild gets.

Both of us would MUCH rather have an older tortoise, from a rescue. This can either be a tort that simply outlived their owner or someone who desperately needs that 'second chance' at the good life. Neither of us would be offended if the gent or lady had pyramiding, etc. We would be wanting to do everything in our power to prevent further injury to the babe. If it can be revived to a type of glory, that's where our hearts are.
We've seen sad photos of the little ones who can't hide all the way in their shell, etc. So long as the tort has a reasonable chance to live and be and have it's being, then we'd certainly consider adoption.

We are not expecting a "free" animal. We're in Canada. We understand that even an unkempt babe would cost 300-500. We don't believe in breeding rescue children. This is not someone we'd expect grandchildren from. Tortoises live for upping-ever. One is enough. ^^ (If you are of a differing opinion, then we can respect that too. =D)

The two kinds of torts we've been looking into are Greeks and Sulcata.
A greek tort is small. They eat stuff we can grow for them. (We don't like the idea of raising tinier people for larger folk to feed upon. Personal preference.) Easier to manage, but we're terrified of the hibernation. They also are imminently portable, and folk can tuck them into a pocket if you're not looking. This makes securing the backyard enclosure especially challenging.
Greeks are hard to come by; then again, ANY tort is hard to come by in Canada.

Sulcata are amazing tortoises. They are huuuuuge though. They smash things. They're personality plus. They need 'bigger' care. They need to walk. We would even consider getting one of those carpet-walkers treadmills for doggies for the winter if that's what they would need/use. A person generally can't lift-n-tuck a larger sulcata from the backyard in one go. They poop and pee like german shepherds. Big piles to clean up, but also great for grazing off that grass in the four months of the year you have it. XD They also are probably the most available tort anywhere. People tend to throw away something after it becomes 'unmanageable'. True with puppies and kitties too.

We see a few differing kinds of tortoises on kijiji but would rather hear from folk here who to trust to get from, too.

So: do you suppose we're too n00bzie for a tort? Too 'liking-cold'? If not, which kind of tortoise suggested, and why? Remember: we're not rushing into this. We like being REALLY PREPARED for this new addition. Knowing that this "baby" will need care for possibly until our own demise means we want to be ab so lute ly SURE that we're able to take on their needs.

Also looking for herp specialized vets in the London, Ontario area, and legitimate rescues in that area too. We mean no disrespect, but sometimes we come across ads that just don't seem 'right'. We want to ensure that we're helping out a tort, and working with someone with the animal's own interest in mind.

So sorry for such a long post: wanted to be clear with our intentions, and also wish to thank anyone who answers for their responses.

Peace!
 

NudistApple

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You guys sound like you've done an awful lot of research to me! You're definitely way ahead of the game in that respect.

One thing that jumps out at me is how cold it is for much of the year where you live. In that regard, a Greek tortoise would probably be a much better bet, because you could construct them a spacious Winter-Home, even as adults, whereas the Sullie would need a room to itself as an adult.

Of course, if you had the means you could also make a heated green house in your yard, and then do either one.
 

wellington

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You sound like great loving people. I want to come live with you:D. I agree, the smaller of the two would be easier in the winter months. However, I have a leopard, I live in Chicago, cold winters. I will be building a heated dog house with an attached greenhouse for when he gets bigger and I can no longer bring him in the house. This might be something to consider. Unfortunately there are always a lot of larger sulcatas needing good loving homes. Hang on and see what others have to say. Good luck
 

Orillion

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wellington said:
You sound like great loving people. I want to come live with you:D. I agree, the smaller of the two would be easier in the winter months. However, I have a leopard, I live in Chicago, cold winters. I will be building a heated dog house with an attached greenhouse for when he gets bigger and I can no longer bring him in the house. This might be something to consider. Unfortunately there are always a lot of larger sulcatas needing good loving homes. Hang on and see what others have to say. Good luck

Thank you, both, for your warm wishes.

Mr. Orillion has mentioned he wants a sulcata. Period.

Mrs. Orillion is more conservative. Greek, Hermann's, Marginated...the vegetarian smaller tortoises seem to her easier to keep. The only thing is that they need hibernation, we've read. This is something that we're both frightened we'll get wrong.

The other thing is feeding. We've been reading a lot on feeding. STILL unsure how much the sully would eat in a day. Sure, we're going to be growing it food (as well as food for us) but how MUCH do they eat to make poops the size of donkey droppings? XD

Oh I wish that the good folk from our hometown would be able to pipe in on where a good place to adopt is. Don't mind in the least paying for a tort. Respect that there's breeders out there. We want to rescue someone. Yet we don't want to line someone's pockets with gold, either. Someone could put an ad in kijiji or the free press or somewhere saying they'll take in torts and then turn around and sell them for far more, without even caring for the tort themselves.

Naturally, this is even premature. We still wouldn't have a place for a sully. We still wouldn't know the first thing of hibernating a greek. XD

Again, thank you for your responses. VERY kind of you.

--The Mrs. Orillion
 

lynnedit

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Great thread, great research.
I don't keep any of the torts you mention, but there have been several very long threads on this site that debate hibernation. Suffice it to say that many feel it is not essential in captivity for the torts' long term health. (It is essential, of course, in the wild for survival. Even Sulcatas burrow down during the very warm months in their native environment to keep from dehydrating, etc.) Many have kept tortoises for decades w/o brumating (hibernating) them, w/o issue.
So don't let that be a barrier.
I would base the choice on your resources and space. Some Sulcata owners provide an acre or more for their tort, to really be happy. Torts wander in their native environment, so to keep them really happy, space is a consideration.
Good luck and welcome!
 
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