Would a tortoise instinctively know to avoid a rat/rodents?

RosemaryDW

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Our tortoise has been avoiding an area of our yard on her regular patrols for the last few days. It’s not her favorite spot but she never skips it, particularly when our rose is dropping petals as it is right now so I’ve been wondering if anything is up.

This morning we found two of our cats hovering around the single chink in our wall and behold, a very nervous looking rat with a branch from a sunflower plant from the front yard is stuffed into it.*

We’ll lock her up while we give the rat a chance to move on tonight; he’s not had a great day what with several cats chittering below him. But I’m wondering if she somehow knew to stay away from a possible predator? I don’t imagine it‘s the first day he’s checked out this plant, which has very recently begun to set seed.

*She’s got an motion-activated camera that we review, we aren’t casually leaving her outside.
 

maggie3fan

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Crazy Train
A rat might stay way from the cats...but I think he might take on a tortoise...if you ever want fear to explode in your chest...look out your bedroom window and see a clean, sleek, fat rat sneaking around in the same pen your Sulcata is grazing in...heart attack! lol
 

RosemaryDW

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A rat might stay way from the cats...but I think he might take on a tortoise...if you ever want fear to explode in your chest...look out your bedroom window and see a clean, sleek, fat rat sneaking around in the same pen your Sulcata is grazing in...heart attack! lol
I don’t have any doubt he’s a threat. I’m asking if my tortoise knows the same just by smelling him or the like.

The rat is leaving, one way or the other.
 

maggie3fan

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Location (City and/or State)
Crazy Train
I don’t have any doubt he’s a threat. I’m asking if my tortoise knows the same just by smelling him or the like.

The rat is leaving, one way or the other.
Sorry...I read your whole question the opposite way...sometimes I'm more blonde than I look......my torts recognize strangers who have come to see them and hide...or my cats, for instance, the torts will hide...and they will stay in until whatever strange thing has left...
 

KarenSoCal

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Low desert 50 mi SE of Palm Springs CA
Ive seen that 😂
Not the way you'd see it with me...

You two need to behave yourselves! This is a family forum! :eek::)

Rosemary, I have no scientific data to back me up. But one of the aspects of Chug that amazed me was his fearlessness.

I would watch him as various visitors would stop by his enclosure. He had 2 big water pans, so his area was a popular watering hole for anyone who wanted to come.

I had a feral cat come by for a while...the cat would sniff Chug and Chug acted like the cat was invisible.

A mated pair of grackles came every evening to bathe and drink. Their calls are loud, and they were right by Chug. He made no response.

Rabbits came and ate his food...right off his paver while he was eating. Chug couldn't care less.

He had roadrunner friends...occasionally there would be a 3-member family unit with him. They would walk within 6 inches of Chug, and he wouldn't break his stride. Oblivious.

Ground squirrels would drink...fine with Chug. Not worth pulling into his shell.

So I don't think a tort knows who is friend or enemy. I can't imagine that a tort who is cool with a squirrel would avoid a rodent. I think Chug would have made friends with it! 😊 🐭🐢
 

janevicki

Active Member
5 Year Member
Location (City and/or State)
Near Disneyland
Our tortoise has been avoiding an area of our yard on her regular patrols for the last few days. It’s not her favorite spot but she never skips it, particularly when our rose is dropping petals as it is right now so I’ve been wondering if anything is up.

This morning we found two of our cats hovering around the single chink in our wall and behold, a very nervous looking rat with a branch from a sunflower plant from the front yard is stuffed into it.*

We’ll lock her up while we give the rat a chance to move on tonight; he’s not had a great day what with several cats chittering below him. But I’m wondering if she somehow knew to stay away from a possible predator? I don’t imagine it‘s the first day he’s checked out this plant, which has very recently begun to set seed.

*She’s got an motion-activated camera that we review, we aren’t casually leaving her outside.
So cool that you have a motion-activatied camera on your Tortoise! She is no stupid Tortoise, why get in the way of trouble? I think they can smell way better than we can. I have different turtles/tortoises that you but all my guys are always smelling stuff.
However, regarding the rat, I would definitely make sure the rat is not in your tortoise yard because they can be vectors of disease and have been known to nibble on turtles and tortoises if given a chance to.
Take care, Love to see some videos of her roaming around!
🐢 :<3:
 

RosemaryDW

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Location (City and/or State)
Newport Coast, CA
You two need to behave yourselves! This is a family forum! :eek::)

Rosemary, I have no scientific data to back me up. But one of the aspects of Chug that amazed me was his fearlessness.

<snip>

So I don't think a tort knows who is friend or enemy. I can't imagine that a tort who is cool with a squirrel would avoid a rodent. I think Chug would have made friends with it! 😊 🐭🐢

Gopher tortoises are very chill, though? I think?

Addy isn’t afraid of anything that I’ve ever seen, at least nothing at eye level. Still, no obvious signs of rat for a couple of days and she’s still not checking out red rose petals where the bugger was coming in and out.
 

RosemaryDW

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Location (City and/or State)
Newport Coast, CA
Love to see some videos of her roaming around!
The camera is just by the door of her box so nothing very interesting. She goes out when it hits 63 degrees, she goes in when there is no sun left to bask in. Every two hours she takes a walk around the perimeter of the yard.

We got it at a point where she’d been a little sick and we were going on vacation. I just wanted to see if she was getting up in the morning. Turns out it’s more useful for making sure a cat didn’t sneak out of the house. :)
 
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