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Why didn't anyone warn me..

Discussion in 'General Tortoise Discussion' started by counting, Jun 12, 2019.

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  1. counting

    counting Well-Known Member

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    That my heart would literally stop when my new baby tortoise buried themselves about 3 inches under the substrate- leaving the surface completely undisturbed, leaving me to think that somehow an animal had gotten into A LOCKED ROOM at him and killed/eaten him??!!?!!
    Like, I'm laughing now, but oh my gosh. I thought by burrowing, there would be evidence that they had dug under at the surface. Like a hole or something.

    Y'all need to warn people about this..haha

    Here is a picture of the offending creature eating a wild violet for cuteness.

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    Carol S, Ciri, Lyric and 8 others like this.
  2. wellington

    wellington Well-Known Member Moderator 5 Year Member Tortoise Club

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    Oops.
    I went through the same things years ago. No way my little leopard could get out of his outside day time enclosure. Quite a few times I couldn't find him. Yelling for hubby to come help, frantically looking and yes a few times crying cuz I thought the poor thing was gone.
    Nope, just tucked into the tall weeds and grass like nothing was wrong. Tall weeds and grass that I had look into and all around 2-3 times already. Boy can they blend in.
  3. counting

    counting Well-Known Member

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    I was actually crying and frantic. By the time I dug that little thing up, my hands were shaking. Naturally unperturbed, they yawned, stomped around the enlcosure and proceeded to bury themselves right back where I had dug them out....haha
    Pastel Tortie, Ciri, Viola B and 6 others like this.
  4. Darkmornings

    Darkmornings New Member

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    My girl is going to China! She digs...a lot. It’s something I didn’t know when I found and decided to keep her. She is big enough that I can always find her but OMGosh,She loves to go under things to dig. My shed and trailer are great examples. She is a “big” girl. We can’t always retrieved her until she is ready.
    Pastel Tortie, Ciri, Viola B and 4 others like this.
  5. Tom

    Tom The Dog Trainer 5 Year Member Platinum Tortoise Club

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    I hate that moment of panic feeling. I usually don't panic anymore since its happened so many times. I just look around make sure the enclosure is intact and talk myself right off of that proverbial ledge. "OK. Tortoise has to be in here. Couldn't have gone anywhere. Take a deep breath and look again..."
  6. counting

    counting Well-Known Member

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    I'll do better now I am sure....(maybe? Probably won't panic?panic a little less..haha)

    Atlas is only 2 inches and that becomes painfully obvious when one is combing through every inch of an enclosure and convinced your dog somehow swallowed them whole (in a locked room, again, haha)
  7. SweetGreekTorts

    SweetGreekTorts Well-Known Member

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    I've been there too, though never panicked. I knew they had to be buried under their substrate somewhere, so I just start digging from one end to the other until I find them. Though now they all have their "spots" they like to hide and I know exactly where they all are.
  8. counting

    counting Well-Known Member

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    Atlas put themself right back in the same corner after I dug them up, so hopefully that'll be the usual burrowing spot for them (orrrr they will change it up and then I'll panic when they aren't in their spot! One or the other ;) )
    JodyK and KarenSoCal like this.
  9. drew54

    drew54 Well-Known Member

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    I didn't panic when my Russian burrowed until I looked every where and I couldn't find him. I ended up finding him buried underneath the water dish. They dig deep!
  10. KarenSoCal

    KarenSoCal Well-Known Member

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    Six weeks ago it was the evening before I was to have my first cataract surgery.

    I came home exhausted from a day shopping and getting everything ready for a few days of not doing much of anything.

    I had a bowl of greens for Chug, and started calling for him at the entrance of his burrow. He always comes out when I call him, because I always have a treat for him.

    Greens in hand, I called...and called...and called. "He has to be in there, he always comes out".

    After 10 minutes of yelling progressively louder down a dark hole in the dirt, I'm looking all over his 600 sq ft enclosure, then checking the outside perimeter of his fence..."OMG, what if he climbed over and landed upside down!?"...no tort.

    I go get my 10 lb Chi-Pom, who generally finds him right away and wags her tail in joy. Me "Go find Chug! Where is Chug?" She sits down and looks at me like "Who's Chug?"

    Finally I'm crying, looking outside our yard's chain link fence, thinking "How am I going to get my eye operated on tomorrow ? I won't sleep at all! I don't know where my boy is!" As I gaze at the desert that surrounds our property, every clump of grassy weeds look like they are slowly plodding along...hundreds of them. To my tear filled eyes, as I look at one after another, each one morphs itself into a desert tortoise. "This is impossible! I'll have to cancel my surgery!

    I turn to walk back to the door, and think "Well, I may as well take one last look down the hole".

    He's laying at his doorway, looking at me as I come near, and yawns with a gaping, slow, exaggerated sigh. The dog races up to him and plants a wet lick across his face, wagging her tail happily, saying "Mom! I found him! Here he is!" I can distinctly hear his thoughts..."You yelled at me, rather loudly I might add, I got up, and you were nowhere to be found! I don't appreciate that sort of disrespect. WHERE WERE YOU???"

    I gave him his greens anyway.
  11. Ben02

    Ben02 Well-Known Member

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    Little torts are notorious for doing that, I’ve got a 5 year old that doesn’t bury herself, she makes a little ditch in the soil.
  12. counting

    counting Well-Known Member

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    Oh man
    I knew they burrowed, but I didn't expect the surface to look untouched or for a little.baby to settle in so deep.
    Of course I watched them bury themselves secomd time around and they kick dirt back over themselves with their back feet. Clever.

    I'm glad I'm not the only one this has happened to! @KarenSoCal , your story had me on edge too!!!
    Pastel Tortie, JodyK and KarenSoCal like this.
  13. dmmj

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

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    They bury themselves like land mines, better to avoid predators, and nosey humans!
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  14. TammyJ

    TammyJ Well-Known Member

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    Karen you are dangerously close to being right up there with Bea (Moozillion) with the storytelling! LOL!!!:D
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  15. ZEROPILOT

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

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    Between camouflage and my 54 year old eyes. Sometimes my tortoises go missing in plain site.
    It's never not alarming!
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  16. KarenSoCal

    KarenSoCal Well-Known Member

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    Why thank you! Actually, I'm learning from her

    A very sweet compliment.
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  17. Von

    Von New Member

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  18. Von

    Von New Member

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    Tee hee. Exactly like me with my first tortoise and when I saw her burying herself I dug her out for fear of suffocation.
    KarenSoCal and counting like this.
  19. JodyK

    JodyK New Member

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    I have a one year old Sulcata. Spencer Reid. So far no digging. He loves his hide though! He loves the coolness of the orchid Moss I keep in there.

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    KarenSoCal and counting like this.
  20. Tom

    Tom The Dog Trainer 5 Year Member Platinum Tortoise Club

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    Hi Jody. They usually eat the moss. I wouldn't use it. It can cause an impaction.
    DesertGirl and KarenSoCal like this.
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