Tort Aggression!

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Kayti

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Hi tortoise forum! Long time no chat.
Something weird has come up and I wanted to share. My male Russian Tortoise Ed (~2 years old, and now definitively male) has recently started eating my probably-female Russian Tortoise Mona, with whom he has been housed his entire life.
He has always been a bit of a stinker; he’d bite occasionally, or crawl on top of, or just be a general jerk to her. But it was always isolated instances, and he never did any damage. Now, his bites are much worse, and he hones in on her like prey. I separated them when I witnessed him walk up to her, head bob, and then bite her arm hard enough to pull off a scale, which he then swallowed.
Here’s a picture of the damage the day it occurred:
IMG_1152.jpg


I’m really bummed, because now both of them will have to have less space, plus they used to really like each other, not to mention I now have to buy $100+ of new light fixtures and bulbs. I love Edward, despite his issues. He has always been a biter with humans- and it’s not the occasional ‘I-though-you-were-food’ bites I get from the other two- it’s HARD, quick, snapping bites. And it’s definitely aggressive as opposed to defensive.
I’m putting antibacterial ointment on Mona’s missing scale, and she seems to be doing fine. Her appetite has actually doubled since I separated them, so I think she’s happy.
It’s just amazing how quickly their personalities can change. Keep an eye on your babies, if you’re keeping them together!

P.S.:
Thanks to all the folks who sent me nice PMs! I just got them.
 

Tom

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My friend just had the same thing happen with his two russians. It IS Springtime. Good lesson for everyone. Thanks for posting it.
 
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