Tortoise keeps trying to escape

Lark_Tortoise

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Hey everyone. I have a female russian tortoise. I've had her since spring of 2018, so a little more than a year. She has a 4 by 6 foot enclosure with a loft, an outdoor enclosure about the same size, and I let her roam my yard (supervised).
Until very recently, she has never tried to escape her enclosure. But now she spends a lot of time trying to. I found her on her back for the very first time. (she had somehow climbed her hiding cave and flipped off it, so I took it it out.) She stares up at her walls (which are 18 or 20 inches tall). I try to change her enclosure around to stimulate her, but she still tries to escape and climb the walls. I know she wouldn't be able to make it over them (there's a lip at the top and they are really tall.) but I worry about her injuring herself.
Does anyone know what this behavior might stem from? Is there anything I can do to help her?
Thanks =)
 

dmmj

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Most likely from changing around her enclosure on her she is freaking out thinking she is in a new territory. Stop changing things that doesn't stimulate them.
 

Lark_Tortoise

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Most likely from changing around her enclosure on her she is freaking out thinking she is in a new territory. Stop changing things that doesn't stimulate them.
I don't change it often, and this behavior started before I changed it around. Do you know any other things that could cause this behavior? Thanks. =)
 

Tom

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The enclosure is too small, and since you've let the tortoise roam the yard (A very dangerous practice...), she now knows there is a great big world on the other side of the wall.

Make the outdoor enclosure much larger, and stop letting the tortoise roam loose in the yard.
 

Lark_Tortoise

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The enclosure is too small, and since you've let the tortoise roam the yard (A very dangerous practice...), she now knows there is a great big world on the other side of the wall.

Make the outdoor enclosure much larger, and stop letting the tortoise roam loose in the yard.

Thank you for the help. Would 5 by 8 feet be a good outdoor enclosure size?
 

Tom

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Thank you for the help. Would 5 by 8 feet be a good outdoor enclosure size?
I like to go bigger. 5x8 is certainly adequate. There is no scientifically based "rule" about enclosure size, but as you've seen in the back yard, they will utilize as much space as you give them. Walking and exploring is good for them mentally and physically, so the more room to walk and explore, the more interesting features you can put into the enclosure and the better it will be.

If 5x8 is all the space you have, then that will do, but how much better would it be if the enclosure were 20x20', or even bigger? Since lumber comes in 8' lengths, I usually think in terms of multiples of 8. How about 8x16'? or 16x24'?
 
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