Which tortoise do I have?

Law

Member
Joined
Jul 3, 2019
Messages
25
Location (City and/or State)
London
Thank you for the welcome.

I’ve been asked to ‘look after’ him for a ‘few months’. Then handed a tortoise, nothing else, told to feed him iceberg and tomatoes!

I have seen him at persons house previously, I know nothing about tortoises! However he seemed neglected (no water in enclosure, fed some left over salad, birds stealing his food, he seemed depressed, tiny enclosure, never active etc.)

I commented that if person wanted to rehome., I would love to have him. Few weeks later I was handed him for a ‘few months’

Having now read the info on here, I would love to build him a more suitable home (already ordered seeds to grow!) I’ve only had him 2 days, he loves to dig, eat dandelions and explore the garden!

He has such a sad back story, found down an alley over 30 years ago. Owner who found him, passing away and being passed on, then to me. He is an old boy, at least 50+ I would like to make his retirement years secure and happy!
 

Cathie G

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 9, 2018
Messages
4,115
Location (City and/or State)
Lancaster
Thank you for the welcome.

I’ve been asked to ‘look after’ him for a ‘few months’. Then handed a tortoise, nothing else, told to feed him iceberg and tomatoes!

I have seen him at persons house previously, I know nothing about tortoises! However he seemed neglected (no water in enclosure, fed some left over salad, birds stealing his food, he seemed depressed, tiny enclosure, never active etc.)

I commented that if person wanted to rehome., I would love to have him. Few weeks later I was handed him for a ‘few months’

Having now read the info on here, I would love to build him a more suitable home (already ordered seeds to grow!) I’ve only had him 2 days, he loves to dig, eat dandelions and explore the garden!

He has such a sad back story, found down an alley over 30 years ago. Owner who found him, passing away and being passed on, then to me. He is an old boy, at least 50+ I would like to make his retirement years secure and happy!
I think you probably already got addicted hehehe...and your little friend found a happy home.
 

Law

Member
Joined
Jul 3, 2019
Messages
25
Location (City and/or State)
London
Max Yours seems more vibrant in colour? My old boy seems faded?

Cathie I am a sucker for a sad story and any animal! It has made me happy, seeing him transform from not eating, not being active etc. To stuffing his face, digging, and literally sprinting around the garden and being enthusiastic about his environment!
 

Law

Member
Joined
Jul 3, 2019
Messages
25
Location (City and/or State)
London
He actually doesn’t like a Greek, from my very recent, very limited google knowledge!!!
 

kazjimmy

Active Member
Joined
Sep 24, 2018
Messages
214
Location (City and/or State)
baldwin park
Take more pictures and the back leg. If there is a Spurs then it’s a Greek. If no then it’s a Herman.
 

SweetGreekTorts

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 12, 2018
Messages
924
Location (City and/or State)
Tucson, AZ
Take more pictures and the back leg. If there is a Spurs then it’s a Greek. If no then it’s a Herman.
Not entirely accurate. The Western Hermann's from Madonie (Sicily) Italy locale actually does have spurs on its thighs. And the Testudo graeca soussensis (Southern Moroccan Greek) does not have thigh spurs.

But the plastron of the Greek is always very different from the Hermann's. Greeks have random black markings, and Hermann's have two solid black bands. That's how I help confirm the species identity.
 

SweetGreekTorts

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 12, 2018
Messages
924
Location (City and/or State)
Tucson, AZ
This is a Greek tortoise. Very strong tortoise. 80%grass 20%other veg
Greeks eat mostly weeds and broadleaf greens. Not much of a grass or hay eating species. Also, certain vegetables as a treat only, like cucumbers. It's not part of their staple diet.
 

SweetGreekTorts

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 12, 2018
Messages
924
Location (City and/or State)
Tucson, AZ
He doesn’t eat grass at all? There is plenty in the garden, he ignores it or is there a particular type of grass?

Person who gave him to me, told me to feed him iceberg lettuce and tomato. This didn’t sound right, so I googled. That’s where it got confusing, not knowing what type he is!

I figured out from google dandelions seemed to be safe for most tortoises? Luckily I have loads at the back of the garden. He loves these. I have also been giving him a bit of kale?
No iceberg lettuce (it has no nutritional value), and no tomato (too much sugar). Greeks all have same diet so subspecies doesn't matter.

Weeds and broadleaf greens are best. Can provide a variety with grocery store greens 1-2 times a week (escarole, endive, romaine lettuce, red leaf lettuce, green leaf lettuce, collard greens, turnip greens, dandelion greens, and radicchio). No fruits (to high in sugars), and very little vegetables (most also have too many sugars). Mazuri is also good to feed to provide a different taste, and lots of nutrients.
 

Cathie G

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 9, 2018
Messages
4,115
Location (City and/or State)
Lancaster
Max Yours seems more vibrant in colour? My old boy seems faded?

Cathie I am a sucker for a sad story and any animal! It has made me happy, seeing him transform from not eating, not being active etc. To stuffing his face, digging, and literally sprinting around the garden and being enthusiastic about his environment!
Hello. Your little one probably just needs a good soak or bath now and then(not too deep). I use a little teeny bit of extra virgin coconut oil to give him a polish after his bath sometimes. Then fluff him up with his bath towel. You'll be surprised at the difference it makes in his coloring.
 

Law

Member
Joined
Jul 3, 2019
Messages
25
Location (City and/or State)
London
Thank you Cathy, he has had a soak. I already have some organic raw virgin coconut oil in the cupboard, I will give him a buff after his next soak!
 

Michael231

Member
Joined
Jul 17, 2016
Messages
90
Location (City and/or State)
California
I definitely agree it looks like a Greek tortoise (Testudo gracea ssp. {if I had to guess I’d say an old Iberian, but I could be off}), but I think that has been established!

You mentioned at the start of this threat you’re feeding kale. Be careful, and I’d suggest not feeding kale, as it is high in oxalic acid, which keeps calcium from being properly synthesized into the body.
 

Michael231

Member
Joined
Jul 17, 2016
Messages
90
Location (City and/or State)
California
I definitely agree it looks like a Greek tortoise (Testudo gracea ssp. {if I had to guess I’d say an old Iberian, but I could be off}), but I think that has been established!

You mentioned at the start of this threat you’re feeding kale. Be careful, and I’d suggest not feeding kale, as it is high in oxalic acid, which keeps calcium from being properly synthesized into the body.
Not supposed to say “threat” meant to say “thread”
 

Law

Member
Joined
Jul 3, 2019
Messages
25
Location (City and/or State)
London
Thank you, I’m struggling with what else to feed, that you can buy immediately, that doesn’t have to be grown from seed.

I will stop the kale. At the moment I have plenty of dandelions in gardens, which he loves. Is this enough for his dietary requirements?
 

SweetGreekTorts

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 12, 2018
Messages
924
Location (City and/or State)
Tucson, AZ
Thank you, I’m struggling with what else to feed, that you can buy immediately, that doesn’t have to be grown from seed.

I will stop the kale. At the moment I have plenty of dandelions in gardens, which he loves. Is this enough for his dietary requirements?
Yes, his garden variety will be fine as his staple. See my previous post (#31) for other things you can add to mix things up so there are different textures and flavors.
 

puffinboots

Member
Joined
Jun 4, 2015
Messages
80
He doesn’t eat grass at all? There is plenty in the garden, he ignores it or is there a particular type of grass?

Person who gave him to me, told me to feed him iceberg lettuce and tomato. This didn’t sound right, so I googled. That’s where it got confusing, not knowing what type he is!

I figured out from google dandelions seemed to be safe for most tortoises? Luckily I have loads at the back of the garden. He loves these. I have also been giving him a bit of kale?
Romaine lettuce is more nutritious than iceberg, not too much tomato though, but dandelions , what luck , wish I had some for my creeps.
 

Michael231

Member
Joined
Jul 17, 2016
Messages
90
Location (City and/or State)
California
For feed you can also mix in some hibiscus leaves if you have any, and provide the flowers as well on occasion.

I think someone already linked the Greek Tortoise care sheet to this thread so you already have that.

Check out The Tortoise Table (just google it and it will pop up). It lists dozens of plants of all varieties that are safe to feed to your tortoise if you want to add in some variation. For your greek you could also plant a few succulents (I use broadleaf stonecrop) and occasionally add in some shredded spineless Opuntia cactus if you have any where you are at.
 
Top