Here is a list of my top Frequently Asked Questions.

If you don't find your answer here send me a message
1Should I get a tortoise?
That’s a tough question and the answer is different for each person. As usual, research the species out there. Think about the size you can accommodate now, 10 years from now, 20 years from now, 50 years from now, etc. Think about where you’ll be in 10 years. Will you have a job where you travel all the time? Will someone be able to take care of the tortoise?

Deciding to get a tortoise should be a 50+ year planning exercise. If you truly want one, you’ll be able to see how it would fit into your life in future years and you will make it a priority to do so.
2Why do you stress research so much? Can’t I just do what you do? Can’t I just follow a care sheet for the next 50 years?
Owning and captive keeping of any turtle/tortoise is a challenge. These reptiles are exotic pets and require specialty care. Because they have not been domesticated very long there is very little long-term care experience and research available. For example, it was acceptable in the 60s to drill a hole in their shell and tether them with a rope or chain. We now know that mutilating the shell is both painful, harmful and an inhumane method of keeping a turtle/tortoise. Methods, equipment and knowledge are always changing. Keeping up on the research and continuing to learn will ensure the care you provide continues to evolve so that your turtle/tortoise will live a long, healthy life.
3Do you use supplements?
Northwest Tortoise (NWT) uses supplements. Along with a correct diet, supplements can be very beneficial. You are encouraged to research the supplements on the market and choose what you think is best for your turtle/tortoise. It’s recommended, no matter what species or age, to have a cuttlebone available for them to munch on.
4Does my tortoise need a buddy or friend? Isn’t he lonely?
No. No. No. And no. I cannot stress this enough. Turtles/tortoises do not need buddies or friends. They are solitary animals. They don’t want or need friends. In the wild they are nomadic and come together only to mate or vie for a mate.

“But my friend has x, y, and z together and they are fine.” I hear this all the time and my answer is always the same – just wait, problems will arise and they do. Recently I took in multiple tortoises being kept together for 20+ years and the bullying was rampant. The keeper did not recognize the subtle signs and the weaker tortoises suffered for it.

General guidelines:
Young turtles/tortoises will tolerate others fairly well.

Sexual maturity: Males kept with males will start fighting regardless if a female is around.

Females: Females kept with females tend to fight less than males but they will fight. Sometimes females will live in harmony for years then one decides she doesn’t like the other. After a period of separation there may be peace again. I have never seen a period of separation work for males.

Male/female: This is the worst-case scenario. Males will pursue females to detrimental ends. The female MUST have break from the male. She must be kept primarily away from the male.

Bullying behavior is very common in keeping groups together. Unfortunately most inexperienced keepers cannot recognize bullying behavior, and thus, don’t believe an experienced keeper when the behavior is noted.

It’s highly recommend if you decide to ignore the advice given here or the advice by the experts and choose to house multiple turtle/tortoises together that you have an exit plan. An exit plan is an additional pen ready and waiting when fighting or bullying starts.
5Do you charge for information?
NWT never charges for information. If your question can be answered on the website, I will direct you to the proper page. If not, I’ll provide as much information as possible and possibly send you to other resources if I cannot answer sufficiently. Please note: I WILL NOT DO YOUR WORK FOR YOU. I will help guide you to reputable resources to enable learning on your part. I will not give you a list and say do this, do that. My goal is for you to read and process correct care information and apply it.