Tortoises 101

Interested In Tortoises?

START HERE!

1. Do you want a turtle, tortoise or box turtle?
  • Turtle – primarily water-dwelling: learn more here.
  • Tortoise – primarily land-dwelling
  • Box turtle – comfortable on both land and water, needs both See info here
2. What species of tortoise do you want?
  • Do you want a small, medium or large tortoise?
    • 1 pound up to 150 pounds
  • Do you want a basking or non-basking tortoise?
  • Does your climate closely match the climate of the origins of the species of tortoise you want? Learn more here.
    • If not, are you willing to create artificial climates for the tortoise?
  • Are you willing to feed vegetarian and/or animal protein and possibly live food? Or a combination of all three?
3. Do you have enough space both indoors and outdoors?
  • You must have indoor as-well-as outdoor space (review minimum size requirements here)
  • Indoor tortoise tables/enclosures must be located away from drafts, off the floor and in a well lit/air circulated area
    • Garages are NOT an accepted area
  • Outdoor space MUST be predator-proof, escape (dig/climb) proof, free of hazardous materials and/or poisonous plants
    • Standard fenced yards are NOT an acceptable area
    • Any type of wire fencing is NOT acceptable
4. Do you have the time to invest in a long-lived tortoise?
  • Will you commit to caring for the life of the tortoise?
  • Will you give the tortoise daily attention, activity, and enrich his/her life?
  • Are you willing to continue learning about the species of tortoise you chose?
  • Are you willing to feed a fresh, varied diet?
  • Will you have an exit plan in case circumstances require giving up the tortoise?
    • Will you have a tortoise or instructions regarding who will take the tortoise upon death?
    • Will you provide financially for the tortoise?
5. Can you create a budget for an exotic pet?
  • Do you have the budget to create both indoor and outdoor enclosures?
  • Do you have the budget to upgrade/change/enhance the enclosures periodically?
  • Do you have the budget to pay for unexpected vet visits and examinations
  • Do you have the budget to purchase equipment and supplies as needed?
  • Do you have the budget to purchase food when fresh is not available?