The Turtle Source- a customer review.

Turningstar

Member
Joined
Jun 20, 2018
Messages
89
Location (City and/or State)
Florida
At the end of June 2018, I purchased 2 18-20 week old "well started" sulcata hatchlings from The Turtle Source. Both were to be hatchlings with extra scutes. I had seen them on youtube and heard that they were one of the largest breeders of turtles and tortoises in the southeast, and since they are only a few hours drive from me, I thought it would be great since the babies wouldnt have far to ship. Oh, how much Ive learned since then...
I purchased them online, and got a confirmation email a couple days later. After that, I received an email of when they would ship. Then an email that they couldn't ship because of the heat. They said when they could ship, picking them up from the carrier facility woulf be a possibility. After several phone calls and messages to them, I finally spoke to someone who gave me their ship date.
When my kids and I arrive at UPS facility (20 miles away), we opened the box to find an upside down hatchling in a plastic sandwich container with nothing to sit on so he didnt slide everywhere. I initially thought he was dead. Luckily, he wasnt.
There was also only one hatchling in the box.

After the 20 mile ride home, I call again, only to reach an answering machine. Finally, later that day after many calls, I reach a different lady. She tells me that the owner suddenly decided to shut down yesterday and sent everyone home, so they would get right on sending our other hatchling. Again, it was back and forth on the weather, so I opted to drive back to UPS 20 miles away, with 2 little kids and a baby, to get our other tortoise.
Luckily, this time they put a damp paper towel under him so he wasnt rolling around.
This one did have extra scutes. The first one did not.

That was the end of the fiasco of purchasing and receiving them, but the story aint over yet!

Now that I have them, I have sunk about $1000 into the whole tortoise investment, buying the proper equipment, building a tank, getting all the right foods, etc.
My torts eat, but dont grow. Ive had them for over 2 months, and despite constant food of the proper types, correct environment, soaking 30-60 minutes a day, they stay within the same 2-3 gram weight they were when I got them. I though perhaps I was not feeding enough, so for 2 weeks, I bombarded them with food. All the right foods, just lots of it 24/7. Still no weight gain. I remembered that the breeder sent me a pdf of their "care sheet". After reviewing it, I was struck by a horrifying reality. These babies had NOT been started well, and from what Ive read on countless posts and been told by others, they may never get over the hump and thrive. I could spend months and tons of money, and they may just die. Not only is that heartbreaking for me, but also for my 5 and 7 year old boys, who spent the money they were savong for trains, on these torts. So now Im spending a ton of time and feeling stressed trying to take the best care of these torts who in reality, may die on me. If only I could get a time machine to go back and do this over....

If you're wondering what the care sheet said...

Care for sulcatas was 30-50% humidity with no water dish (because supposedly they wouldnt know better than to drink too much water[emoji35]), mazuri mixed with mixed veggies (frozen corn, peas, lima beans, carrots) and some romaine. I believe he said they soak them for 15 minutes a few times a week, but Im not positive on that. I could be off on the time.
 

Yvonne G

Old Timer
TFO Admin
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Jan 23, 2008
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Location (City and/or State)
Clovis, CA
We aren't allowed to post comments on vendor reviews unless we have an experience to add about this particular vendor, so, I'm going to copy/paste some of your information and make a thread in the Sulcata section so we can talk about it.
 

rmn813

Member
Joined
Apr 7, 2018
Messages
76
Location (City and/or State)
Pensacola, FL
They have very poor customer service. I've had several calls and emails never returned.
 

ALDABRAMAN

KEEPER AT HEART
5 Year Member
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Nov 5, 2010
Messages
27,910
Location (City and/or State)
SW Forida
They have very poor customer service. I've had several calls and emails never returned.
~ I have heard this many of times. They have been customers of ours for many years, never any issues or problems, however we have never purchased anything from them. I can say that his breeding programs are incredible, mostly aquatics, however i am almost certain that his sulcata hatchlings come from several sources and are not produced at his facility. I always promote anyone interested in purchasing and tortoise to go in person and pick it out if at all possible. It is best to also get one directly from a breeder, much better after purchase service and direction with these sources.

~ One thing that seems to be common practice by most retailers is to sell sulcata hatchlings that are so young, barely days old at times. We think that 30 days old are much more established and is a much better option as a customer.
 

Millerlite

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Nov 20, 2008
Messages
2,673
Location (City and/or State)
Southern Calif.
~ I have heard this many of times. They have been customers of ours for many years, never any issues or problems, however we have never purchased anything from them. I can say that his breeding programs are incredible, mostly aquatics, however i am almost certain that his sulcata hatchlings come from several sources and are not produced at his facility. I always promote anyone interested in purchasing and tortoise to go in person and pick it out if at all possible. It is best to also get one directly from a breeder, much better after purchase service and direction with these sources.

~ One thing that seems to be common practice by most retailers is to sell sulcata hatchlings that are so young, barely days old at times. We think that 30 days old are much more established and is a much better option as a customer.
I was thinking the same thing, The place is not very big, and the use of space is incredible. He must get the tortoise wholesale and has them set up temp. Still not an excuse. I wonder if he mentions it anywhere if he hatch them or not.

Kyle
 

ALDABRAMAN

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Messages
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Location (City and/or State)
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I was thinking the same thing, The place is not very big, and the use of space is incredible. He must get the tortoise wholesale and has them set up temp. Still not an excuse. I wonder if he mentions it anywhere if he hatch them or not.

Kyle
~ I was just at his facility a few days ago delivering tortoises and he does not breed his own sulcatas. He told me they come form several sources.

~ There are many small back yard breeders in the area and actually several larger scale breeders also. For one is Reptile Industries, they produce enormous amounts and they are located here in Naples.
 
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Hutsie B

Active Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Mar 24, 2013
Messages
333
Location (City and/or State)
NC
I wish I had checked here before I bought my Russian from him. It is an adult, said to be a long time captive, but I can't get it to eat. I can't get the owner on the phone or an answer to my e-mails. I am not happy with his service and I am sure this is a wild caught Russian that is not used to captivity. So it was misrepresented on their site. I have had Russians before as well as other tortoises and am doing everything right, but my tortoise is not responding like the owner of Theturtlesource is not responding. thumbs down for this establishment.
 

Hutsie B

Active Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Mar 24, 2013
Messages
333
Location (City and/or State)
NC
I wish I had checked here before I bought my Russian from him. It is an adult, said to be a long time captive, but I can't get it to eat. I can't get the owner on the phone or an answer to my e-mails. I am not happy with his service and I am sure this is a wild caught Russian that is not used to captivity. So it was misrepresented on their site. I have had Russians before as well as other tortoises and am doing everything right, but my tortoise is not responding like the owner of Theturtlesource is not responding. thumbs down for this establishment.
I have more to the story, they replaced my tortoise with another one, the new one ate when it arrived then took some days to adjust, now it just started eating again. So the guy did me right. This one is much more active than the first one. THough I think it is also wild caught.
 

nonalola

New Member
Joined
Jul 29, 2020
Messages
2
Location (City and/or State)
New York
I have more to the story, they replaced my tortoise with another one, the new one ate when it arrived then took some days to adjust, now it just started eating again. So the guy did me right. This one is much more active than the first one. THough I think it is also wild caught.
Hi, I was going to order from them right now, but decided to check some more reviews. What did you do with the other tortoise? Do you suggest shopping from them? Does your new tortoise look good and healthy?
 

Hutsie B

Active Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Mar 24, 2013
Messages
333
Location (City and/or State)
NC
I sent the other one back to them. They say they are long time Captive hatched from Russia, but I don't believe them. I have gotten other turtles from them before and had no problem. I think the first one was not well since it not only didn't eat, it didn't move around much. The new one moves around and goes from place to place. What are you going to order from them, if I can ask? I think they are ok since they did me right. They paid shipping both ways for the new one to come and the other one to go.
 

Hutsie B

Active Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Mar 24, 2013
Messages
333
Location (City and/or State)
NC
oh, and yes the new one looks healthy. He is going to the vet to get worm checked and wormed tomorrow.
 

nonalola

New Member
Joined
Jul 29, 2020
Messages
2
Location (City and/or State)
New York
I sent the other one back to them. They say they are long time Captive hatched from Russia, but I don't believe them. I have gotten other turtles from them before and had no problem. I think the first one was not well since it not only didn't eat, it didn't move around much. The new one moves around and goes from place to place. What are you going to order from them, if I can ask? I think they are ok since they did me right. They paid shipping both ways for the new one to come and the other one to go.
I was going to get a Russian tortoise but now I'm worried. Do you have photos of yours?
 

Hutsie B

Active Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Mar 24, 2013
Messages
333
Location (City and/or State)
NC
I was going to get a Russian tortoise but now I'm worried. Do you have photos of yours?
I am too technically challenged to figure out how to post a photo....If my husband has time he can help me, but he is booked for the day. I will try to get it in the next few days.
 

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