Turtle on Lanai

Swiechdawn

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Mar 23, 2021
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3
Location (City and/or State)
Sarasota
Hi there. I am considering getting a box turtle or a smallish tortoise. I would like it to live on our lanai in Sarasota FL. I would set up a "homing" area where it would have food, water and bedding but otherwise it would be allowed to roam free. We do however have a saltwater pool back there. Do you think the turtle/tortoise would enjoy this set-up and would they be smart enough to not fall in the pool? Is there a specific breed you would recommend?

Thanks!
 

zovick

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Nov 17, 2013
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Hi there. I am considering getting a box turtle or a smallish tortoise. I would like it to live on our lanai in Sarasota FL. I would set up a "homing" area where it would have food, water and bedding but otherwise it would be allowed to roam free. We do however have a saltwater pool back there. Do you think the turtle/tortoise would enjoy this set-up and would they be smart enough to not fall in the pool? Is there a specific breed you would recommend?

Thanks!
I agree with Zeropilot. If there is a pool, the turtle will find a way to fall into it. You will go out one day and either find it drowned, or if you are really lucky, still swimming and trying to get out.
 

Relic

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I have had numerous box turtle retrievals from my swimming pool - and this despite the fact that the turtles are housed inside an "escape proof" pen. Which, of course, proves they are smart enough to escape their confines like Harry Houdini, but not clever enough to keep from plunging into a swimming pool with absolutely NO chance of escape, except with a watchful owner...treat box turtles like toddlers and you'll be on the right track. Which also means they need an enclosure.

PS - All turtles were found alive and well, then roundly scolded for their impudence.
 

Grace-Sophia

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Texas
I have to agree with @ZEROPILOT on this one, your tortoise WILL fall in and they do not know how to swim, it will drown. I 100% advocate for an enclosed large outdoor enclosure, so that your tortoise is safe from predators as well as various other health and safety hazards like fertilizers, toxic plants, pools, etc. I would recommend building a large enclosure outside with safe plants as well as other things like places to hide, place to provide shade if needed, get water, and eat. The enclosure should go about a half a foot to a foot underground because tortoises are phenomenal diggers and you don't want an escapee, I would also recommend a top like something made out of chicken wire to protect your tort form birds and other animals. For Florida I would recommend a Hermann's, they don't get too big and they also enjoy 40-60% humidity. I would recommend checking out Kennan's chanel on youtube, Kamp Kennan he has great advice to give as well as housing torts outdoors in Florida. If you have any further questions about tortoises you can always return back to this form, we would all be willing to help you out! Good luck on your tortoise journey!

~ Grace
 

wellington

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Almost all small tortoises or turtles need at the very least a 4x8 foot enclosure. They will fall into the pool.
 

Grace-Sophia

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I agree 100% with you @wellington!
Hahaha I have an indoor enclosure for my two year old Hermanns who is around 5 inches, she's in a roughly 5x5ft :)
 

Relic

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Sep 8, 2018
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543
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Here
I have to agree with @ZEROPILOT on this one, your tortoise WILL fall in and they do not know how to swim, it will drown. I 100% advocate for an enclosed large outdoor enclosure, so that your tortoise is safe from predators as well as various other health and safety hazards like fertilizers, toxic plants, pools, etc. I would recommend building a large enclosure outside with safe plants as well as other things like places to hide, place to provide shade if needed, get water, and eat. The enclosure should go about a half a foot to a foot underground because tortoises are phenomenal diggers and you don't want an escapee, I would also recommend a top like something made out of chicken wire to protect your tort form birds and other animals. For Florida I would recommend a Hermann's, they don't get too big and they also enjoy 40-60% humidity. I would recommend checking out Kennan's chanel on youtube, Kamp Kennan he has great advice to give as well as housing torts outdoors in Florida. If you have any further questions about tortoises you can always return back to this form, we would all be willing to help you out! Good luck on your tortoise journey!

~ Grace
Well, tortoises may not be graceful swimmers. They may not ALL be swimmers. But the fact is, many tortoises CAN and DO swim of their own volition. This certainly doesn't mean you should leave an unguarded swimming pool in their vicinity - even the swimming tortoises would most likely tire of the effort and succumb to drowning. I have no idea which species can swim (maybe all of them) but here is a link to a leopard tortoise going for a voluntary swim...

 

Grace-Sophia

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Well, tortoises may not be graceful swimmers. They may not ALL be swimmers. But the fact is, many tortoises CAN and DO swim of their own volition. This certainly doesn't mean you should leave an unguarded swimming pool in their vicinity - even the swimming tortoises would most likely tire of the effort and succumb to drowning. I have no idea which species can swim (maybe all of them) but here is a link to a leopard tortoise going for a voluntary swim...

OHHH MY GOODNESS!! I had no idea they could swim, I greatly appreciate the correction! This is so amazing!!!
 
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