Tortoise Relocating from Tenerife to UK, Any advice?

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BridgetJones

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Hi everyone. I'm very glad I found this site as there seems to be so much information.

I lived in Tenerife (for 22 years) and had a Tortoise (testudo Graeca Graeca, I think???) bought for me 8 years ago. We relocated to the UK three years ago and left the Tortoise (Sarah, by the way) with my sister who still lives there. As our lovely Sarah was so nice, my sister and her husband bought one of their own (a Russian tortoise though).

Unfortunately, the Russian has been biting our lovely Sarah and we have found someone that is driving back to the UK and is happy to bring her with us. She was microchipped a few years ago and has a med certificate to is ready to go tomorrow.

My question and request for advice is simple really. Keeping her in Tenerife was a piece of cake. I built her an outside run and she lived with the guinea pigs, she hibernated a little in the winter and had plenty of space and although it was chilly in the winter (we lived in the mountains, 700 metres above sea level), it was a great climate for her. Now she has had to come to the UK as I couldn't bear the thought of her being given away and not knowing where she was and that she was being well cared for, but HOW DO I TAKE CARE OF HER HERE!!
Will she want to hibernate next week when she gets here?
Now that the weather is warm enough, will she be OK outside?
Should I get her in with a heat lamp at night?
We live on a farm and have a spare stone shed we can use for indoor use.
Any advise would be greatly appreciated. I have some books coming that I have ordered, but would appreciate any thoughts you may have. I may post a picture of her when we pick her up on Monday so that I iknow for sure, what type she is.

Thanks....
 

ascott

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I would imagine that you will need to make indoor set up for her for weather changes (cold and wet uk) so you will need to figure where you will do this, what light and heating you will need to have set up for her when she is indoors ....it will be good to get a pic posted so that the others will be able to offer you their experience and advice as well....:D
 

ScottishFish

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You will 100% need an indoor set-up, however there will be times that you can put your tort outside if you have an enclosed south facing garden or you make an outdoor enclosure. Where are you in then U.K? Some areas are more 'tort friendly' when it comes to the U.K.
Theres a hell of a difference in Climate between Cornwall and Inverness, and Belfast and Cardiff.


'Or like the snow falls in the river,
A moment white, then melts forever'
~Robert Burns - Tam O' Shanter


0.0.1 Testudo hermanni boettgeri
 

BridgetJones

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Hi, I'm based in Sunny (today at least) Devon.

We live in a tiny house so she can't be indoors as she's quite a big girl these day, but we are on a farm and we have a spare stone shed available where we could put a heat lamp (buying tomorrow), with sand and a little wooden house we have made.

Its a beautiful day today, and I hope on a day like this, she could be outside, but don't want to go to work and find we have a poorly tortoise when we all get home. It's a minefield isn't it.

She is on her way and I am collecting her from Folkestone on Monday morning and I'm thrilled she's coming but apprehensive as I don't want to do her harm.
 

lynnedit

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The stone shed connected to a secure outdoor run or your garden would be fine.
Can you manage to open an exit door in it for her? I see a lot of keepers in the UK (it works in the Pacific NW US as well), with a shed connected to a greenhouse or large cold frame (mounted on bricks with an opening at the base) connected to the outside run. That way your tortoise has a choice and can self regulate. In the winter, there is a basking light or two in the shed, with background heat in the shed to keep temps above at least 15c. The GH or CF is nice for a bright area to warm up in, sometimes they have a basking light too. They can move into the outdoor run when the GH/CF get too warm.

For now, if there is sun and temps are 20c, quite often a sunny spot on gravel, pavers or stones, or positioned against a stone wall can be quite a bit warmer.
 

BridgetJones

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Thank you so much, that really helps. We can't connect the shed to the garden but I'm happy to move her in and out on a daily basis. So my plan is to have a small wooden shelter, connected to a GH/CF and that connected to an outside run during the day and she can be in the barn/shed with a light in the evening and on colder days.

However, I now have another issue that I could do with some advice with. My sister has had a vet check her out for the med certificate and the vet told my sister to give her cat biscuits for the journey as this will be easier for everyone. My instincts say NO!, but I'd be pleased to hear from anyone with an opinion on this. I can contact the chap that has her and tell him not to feed them to her.
Thanks again for the help.
 
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