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where do aldabras go

Discussion in 'Aldabra tortoises' started by argus333, Jan 5, 2013.

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  1. argus333

    argus333 Active Member 5 Year Member

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    i see more and more people breeding aldabras i just wonder where there are all sold to? i mean u need so much room and live somewhere warm. i cant see how many people have this, sulcatas are hard enough. anyone keep one north of virgina?
  2. Baoh

    Baoh Well-Known Member 10 Year Member!

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    You do need a decent amount of room. You do not need to live somewhere warm, although it certainly simplifies your life in that regard if you do.

    I am in Missouri. I keep an Aldabra and many other tortoises, a number of which are large. My veterinarian for my dogs also keeps Aldabra tortoises as well as sulcatas and has done so for quite a few years. The Saint Louis Zoo also keeps them.
  3. wellington

    wellington Well-Known Member Moderator 5 Year Member Tortoise Club

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    I live in Chicago. The one Zoo here has the other very large tort, in fact the largest, the galapagos. There are also many others that live in a colder winter climate. You just have to be able to afford to give them a heat outdoor house in the winter months.
  4. argus333

    argus333 Active Member 5 Year Member

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    how do u keep them in winter in missouri? in heated shed? the pen @ philly zoo inside is not that big. i think i could make one the same size in my basement. and my yard is way bigger outside and they have 6 of them.
  5. Yellow Turtle

    Yellow Turtle Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    In heated shed for sure for winter time. No worry of keeping aldabra there, they will choose to go out themselves if they feel to. And I'd say they are really hardy for tortoise, as long as you have a big yard.
  6. Baoh

    Baoh Well-Known Member 10 Year Member!

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    I am fine handling them until they are a bit over 200 pounds, so I have them inside for the winter, but it is risky for me beyond that size if they get squirmy (the 125+ pounders already do a number on my skin with their claws when I move them). In a couple of years, I will get rid of my current deck and rebuild it with an integrated heated shed-type custom enclosure for the big animals (assuming I do not move before then). That will allow the really big animals to stay outside all year.
  7. Yellow Turtle

    Yellow Turtle Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    You pick and lift up 125 lb aldabra? That's heavy...
  8. Baoh

    Baoh Well-Known Member 10 Year Member!

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    No, my Aldabra is still small. I have carried my 130+ lb Sudanese sulcata female up and down the stairs (from the front lawn through the house into the basement and up from the basement through the house into the backyard) and I have moved 200+ lb tortoises for other folks who lack the strength to do so. The problem for me is not the weight. I have been training for far more difficult things than this for half of my life. The problem for me is if they start to move in a panic. They will get me with their claws (which are unfortunately blunt) or jam my fingers/hands by drawing back hard into their shells if I have gripped them while they were hanging their limbs out during the beginning of the process. My primary concern when this happens is that I might drop the tortoise, which could end really badly due to their mass. My secondary concern is not getting my body mildly mangled in the process. If I can kind of bear hug them by putting my arms around the plastron and angle them out a little bit from my body, I am least likely to have a problem as long as I am wearing tough denim pants. Strapping one to a dolly with some cushioning in between the dolly and the tortoise might work, but I have yet to need it.

    Obviously, once these things are nearing 300, the physics make this much more hazardous due to mass, angle, and levers. 200 is manageable for me. 300...I have never tried and do not want to. A small tortoise is pretty strong. A big one is monstrously strong.
  9. Yellow Turtle

    Yellow Turtle Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    I've never seen your picture Baoh, so I just think that you are big enough to lift that weight.

    But I've seen Greg's and he is huge. So I can imagine him lifting his giant aldabra all around his ranch :D
  10. Baoh

    Baoh Well-Known Member 10 Year Member!

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    I am not a huge person, but I have some strength. I typically run around 100kg. More if bulking. Less if cutting.
  11. Yellow Turtle

    Yellow Turtle Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    I still consider that big.. We Indonesian are basically only 60-80 kg in average for adult males :D
    I need trolley for huge tortoise later~
  12. jtrux

    jtrux Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    What a lightweight! I'm at 106kg (yes I had to look it up) lol

    While my DL best is 505lb, I have zero confindence in picking up a 200+ tortoise, I guess like you've said, the biggest concern is the animal.

    I guess if I ever had to move a large tort, i'd be calling for backup.
  13. Tom

    Tom The Dog Trainer 5 Year Member Platinum Tortoise Club

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    Now there is what the smart man does. I just did a job with 4 Aldabras. Big male is around 500, big female around 400 and two smaller females around 250 each. We had four guys and it made it relatively easy. One guy on each corner. Once they start getting near 100 pounds leather gloves are a very useful item to have too.

    To the OPs question: I don't see all that many being produced each year. A few dozen at most. When you consider the more than 300 million people in this country, it is not hard to fathom a few dozen animals getting placed.
  14. Baoh

    Baoh Well-Known Member 10 Year Member!

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    My sumo DL is in the low sixes and my PC is in the low threes. It helps with the base strength, but a bar is, by comparison, a very controlled environment for a lift. I have a done a fair bit of log and stone lifting, which I believe assists in translation of the strength gained in barbell lifts to odd/irregular objects (like tortoises) via improved coordination in less well defined paths.

    This is reminding me to light a fire under my keister to get serious again. I will attach an old avatar of me from back when I weighed 110-120 kilos. Since I started grad school, I had to scale things back due to time and cost. Since finishing grad school, I have found my return to serious training spotty. Still in shape and strong enough, but slimmer and a little bit softer. Reason enough to hit the rack, I suppose.

    I prefer to lift things myself when they are within my bounds. That way you never have two guys going in different directions by accident. Back when I was a manual loader for heavy things as a summer job before I was done with undergrad, I had no drops or injuries when I handled things on my own. When someone good tried to help, things were easier and went fine. When someone bad tried to help, I have had my fingers partially stripped of skin, had compressive pinch injuries from someone shoving when maneuvering in a confined space, and even once had my wrist lightly slashed. This is mainly a problem when one or more members of lift/move team do not follow the pre-discussed movement plan or when they talk too much. As you can imagine, I prefer not to endure -or have the animals endure- "mistakes" of any kind. I have seen uncoordinated teams drop full-sized -80C freezers and big pianos. I never ever want a tortoise to suffer such a fate. Painful for the animal and heartbreaking for me, even if I were to have no involvement.

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  15. argus333

    argus333 Active Member 5 Year Member

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    what size shed or pen do u keep them in in winter? i have 80ft x120 ft space in yard. but how big is inside enclosures? in nj we still have some warm days here even in winter 60s are often now a days.
  16. Baoh

    Baoh Well-Known Member 10 Year Member!

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    I keep my runt in a stock tank for now in the winter. Next winter, a tortoise tub or a larger stock tank by itself. It is gentle enough to be kept with other animals right now, but with its growth rate, it will soon be too big to be confined with smaller animals unless a lot of space is afforded so smaller animals do not get walked on or pinned. The winter after that, I will either have an outside shed built as I mentioned or do a massive version of a wooden tortoise table, but low to the ground, in my basement. During the warmer months of 2012, I kept it in my outdoor hatchling enclosure. I had originally let it roam the larger yard, but I was concerned one of my adult female sulcatas might try to taste it (although they do not bother my smaller juvenile sulcatas, so my concern may be overblown).
    [hr]
    Like I have mentioned before, I suspect that many of these animals die in their new homes. I would guess not as bad a rate as with some less expensive or more delicate species, but still. I have heard of and seen a number of accidental deaths. Accidental crushing. Dog attacks. Escapes. Run over by mowers. Run over by cars. Straight up being stepped on. Killed (via ramming) by large adult male sulcatas. Flips (especially on hot days or beneath indoor heating elements). Rat attacks. Raccoon attacks. Rarely a bird attack. Only a couple infections, which speaks to their hardy nature. A lot of those who do not suffer from this fate seem to get growth problems. Mineral deficiencies. Severe pyramiding coupled with MBD. Distorted limbs from mineral issues and/or small enclosures and/or exceedingly loose substrate. Some get issues where they drag the back legs regardless of mineral status. The growth margins of young animals seem especially susceptible to damage, too. Heating elements, gnawing insects, abrasive surfaces, an unfortunately positioned thorn, exposed nails, and so on. These last ones do not usually seem to result in death, but damage is still sustained.

    Of course, most of these things apply to other species, too.
  17. jtrux

    jtrux Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    Ugh, sumo...I never got over 405. I've observed that the guys that have a more even ratio of torso to legs can sumo a lot more than I can (long legs, short torso).

    Since we're getting off track i'll add my part to this. There's a guy in NY whose a member here who has 4 Aldabras. Iirc, he keeps them in his basement but they are not THAT big yet. I'd imagine that once they get up there in size, he will have to start keeping them in a warm shed or garage.

    I live in San Antonio, TX and it stays warm for the majority of the year but we still get freezes annually and I would be hesitant to own such a large tort because I personally don't want to go through the trouble and expense of having a huge heated shed. Sulcatas get pretty good size and that would be my limit.

    Baoh, if you're willing and able to provide for them in the winter, more power to you and i'm curious to see what you come up with.
  18. argus333

    argus333 Active Member 5 Year Member

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    I've seen them at reptile shows here for sale, id like to see his basement...
  19. jtrux

    jtrux Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    You've seen aldabras at a reptile show? The only tortoises I ever see are sulcatas and redfoots.
  20. wellington

    wellington Well-Known Member Moderator 5 Year Member Tortoise Club

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    I don't think Greg can lift 500+pounds. If he can, i'd like to see it :D When they are too large to lift, which they will be, they need to be outside 24/7. If you live in areas that gets cold winters, you need to afford to heat a large enclosure for them.
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