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Who shares your tortoise enclosure with your tortoise?

Discussion in 'North American Tortoises (genus Gopherus)' started by bioteach, May 19, 2019.

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  1. bioteach

    bioteach New Member 5 Year Member

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    Our Desert Tortoise (Sunshine) had an unexpected visitor. When I entered her enclosure to offer her some Hibiscus blossoms that were out of her reach, there was a baby rabbit in her burrow! It was hilarious watching me chasing the rabbit out, and we are working on a better gate. The rabbit squeezed into Sunshine's space through a gap no larger than two inches. Do Desert Tortoises share burrows with other animals in the wild?
  2. Tom

    Tom The Dog Trainer 5 Year Member Platinum Tortoise Club

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    Yes they do in the wild, but it should be avoided in our captive environments when possible. In the desert, many animals will seek refuge in the tortoise burrows to escape hot or cold temperature extremes. You can probably find pics of rattlesnakes sitting next to a burrowed tortoise.
    Cndlou0309 and TammyJ like this.
  3. dmmj

    dmmj The member formerly known as captain awesome Moderator 10 Year Member!

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    In the desert or is it dessert? Either way a DT burrow is highly desirable property ( beach house in Malibu desireable) so many ctitters squat in them.
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  4. wellington

    wellington Well-Known Member Moderator 5 Year Member Tortoise Club

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    I learned an easy way to remember if its desert or dessert
    With dessert you wouldnt mind having to. So dessert has the two SS.
    Desert, the land, has one S.
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  5. wellington

    wellington Well-Known Member Moderator 5 Year Member Tortoise Club

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    My leopards have rabbits in their yard all the time. The rabbits never enter their indoor area though.
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  6. NorCal tortoise guy

    NorCal tortoise guy Well-Known Member

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    Desert tortoises are called a keystone species because so many desert animals depend on there burrows for a place to hide but yes as said above I would do my best to avoid it in captivity.
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  7. TammyJ

    TammyJ Well-Known Member

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    Talking about sharing space...well, sometimes I suppose slugs and snails find their way into my tortoise enclosure, but I never find any, so I guess their last thought must have been "wrong turn"!
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  8. Coco Channell

    Coco Channell New Member Platinum Tortoise Club Tortoise Club

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    My Pixie adopted a baby bunny too. It s so sweet to see them sleeping together and I swear she saves food for her baby bunny. I figured it was because she had babies of her own before and her mothering instincts are taking care of this poor little bunny
  9. T Smart

    T Smart Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    One of Harrison’s favorite hiding spots is an old rabbit nest. IMG_5731.jpg
  10. Coco Channell

    Coco Channell New Member Platinum Tortoise Club Tortoise Club

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    Sweet picture
  11. ZEROPILOT

    ZEROPILOT Well-Known Member 5 Year Member Platinum Tortoise Club Tortoise Club

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    I get Curley Tailed lizards in my enclosure and on occasion, a Cane Toad.
  12. ascott

    ascott Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    Rabbit, snakes, lizards, black widows, scorpions and misc critters all will reside with your CDT. It is natural, it is harmless to the tortoise. I would and do always suggest humans never reach into a burrow, without first clearing for any critters dangerous to us, before retrieving or cleaning the burrow or the burrow apron....but there is no reason to worry. Just be certain that the tortoise is the first to dinner table when presenting food. There is tall tale signs of what is eating the food, tortoise or rabbit :)
  13. wccmog10

    wccmog10 Active Member

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    There have been over 300 species documented using gopher tortoise burrows here in the southeast.
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  14. T Smart

    T Smart Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    Reminded me of this cool picture.
    IMG_5801.jpg
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  15. wccmog10

    wccmog10 Active Member

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    That is a great picture/pamphlet. Thanks for sharing.

    I just had a thought- I wonder if anything bigger uses the burrows up here in Georgia. In Georgia the tortoises are a good bit bigger. Your flyer there lists tortoises as weighing 7-9 lbs. here in Georgia I’ve caught several that are 15-20 lbs (it was for research- so we actually weighed them, that is not a guess).

    But I digress.

    In my outdoor tortoise pens I mostly get small tree frogs in the water bowls. Usually squirrel tree frogs. Last winter I had a small anole lizard get into my reptile building, he lived with the tortoise most of the winter.
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  16. queen koopa

    queen koopa Active Member

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    I get rabbits and rats in Koops enclosure on going fight to keep rats clear. They do steal koops food and hide it under things!! Can only use certain traps around the property because of our other animals.
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  17. queen koopa

    queen koopa Active Member

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    Funny thing about our rabbits though, they would rather eat and rip up the Bermuda grass lawn in the enclosure than eat Koops squash, or the carrots and celery I put out to bait them... Desert rabbits.... odd
  18. ZEROPILOT

    ZEROPILOT Well-Known Member 5 Year Member Platinum Tortoise Club Tortoise Club

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    I've trapped rats in my Redfoot enclosure but had to stop because the Redfoot would EAT THE RATS....And some of the trap if it fell into the pen
    Nasty stuff
  19. queen koopa

    queen koopa Active Member

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    Ah! Gross! Opportunistic lil fatties.
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  20. ZEROPILOT

    ZEROPILOT Well-Known Member 5 Year Member Platinum Tortoise Club Tortoise Club

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    They can be downright disgusting
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