Tortoises in Tennessee?

Nikachu0315

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Jan 23, 2013
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Hello to my fellow keepers, I haven't posted on this site for a while, but I'm crossing my fingers and hoping people are still as helpful when I first joined. I haven't kept tortoises for a while ever since a tragedy that occurred with a Hermanns tortoise that was entirely my fault. I've been going through some mind problems and havent really focused on reptiles. Thought progress is minimal, I believe I can welcome a new tortoise to the family and am wondering whether there is any tortoise that would be a good fit for me to keep outdoors? I live in Tennessee now and understand I would need to build a winter enclosure during the colder months, but I believe it's worth the trouble. Thankfully Tennessee's draconian laws of keeping tortoises have dropped and would love to get a tortoise. Any suggestions? Thanks
 

wellington

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I look at it this way. What tortoise do you want? That's the one to get. Tortoises of all kinds live all over. Yes, some might be better suited for colder winters, but very few live in the area of which their tortoises is native to.
Don't know what happened before with your tort, but sorry for whatever it was.
 

eric joranson

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Cape Cod ;MA / Co.Bluffs; Iowa
Hello to my fellow keepers, I haven't posted on this site for a while, but I'm crossing my fingers and hoping people are still as helpful when I first joined. I haven't kept tortoises for a while ever since a tragedy that occurred with a Hermanns tortoise that was entirely my fault. I've been going through some mind problems and havent really focused on reptiles. Thought progress is minimal, I believe I can welcome a new tortoise to the family and am wondering whether there is any tortoise that would be a good fit for me to keep outdoors? I live in Tennessee now and understand I would need to build a winter enclosure during the colder months, but I believe it's worth the trouble. Thankfully Tennessee's draconian laws of keeping tortoises have dropped and would love to get a tortoise. Any suggestions? Thanks
nothing like a tortoise to help "mind problems"...gets you and your tortoise into a routine; which is beneficial for both. You will find this forum still has the great people to help you with any questions about care; enclosures; diet; and health of what ever species you choose. Do your research first. Do you want a species that hibernates; a small or a giant; hatchling or older? Good luck; and enjoy the journey.
 

kerrynn

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Jun 13, 2017
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Hi I live in East Tennessee. I just got a red foot. Hope you find one you love!
 

tglazie

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Jul 21, 2010
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San Antonio, TX
My aunt lives in Tennessee, and though I've not yet successfully convinced her to get a tortoise, my argument always goes for redfoots. Redfoots are great tortoises. They're easy going, personable, eat pretty much anything you can grow or get at the supermarket, and they get pretty good size without getting too big (well, some of them, anyway). Plus Tennessee can be a rainy place in the spring and summer, and this species thrives in that sort of environment. You will have to have winter quarters, of course, but I always have winter quarters ready for any tortoise under my care. You just never know if you're going to need it. About fifteen years ago, my oldest tortoise Graecus came down with a respiratory illness in the fall, just before the leadup to brumation. I couldn't put him under, obviously, but thankfully I had an indoor enclosure ready for him. Here in Texas, calling the weather temperamental is like blending a salsa without jalapenos, you know, putting it mildly.

During the worst hail storm to hit South Texas in a decade last year, fortunately, I got a bad feeling looking at the skies, so I rushed home and pulled all of the tortoises into the house in the middle of the day. Not one hour after I got everyone in did it start pouring down chilled rain and golf ball sized hail. I have a persimmon tree on my property that lost all but five buds, and only three of those didn't get taken by the birds that coming fall. To give an idea, the previous year, that tree produced over a hundred pieces of fruit. My poor cactus patches looked like Pecos Bill had used them for target practice. Fortunately, my Mulberries grew back extremely quickly, as did most of the ground forage. Chickory, dandelion, various plantains, all of them bounced back in a matter of weeks. Apologies, this past paragraph has been something of a ramble.

The important thing here is that whatever species you choose, you're going to have to be prepared to care for it when conditions are less than ideal outdoors. This will mean more work for some species than others, but this really just depends upon how much you want to keep a particular species.

T.G.
 
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