|Mo and Joe basking - this was the first time in years that they had heat and light|
I had kind of hoped that at least one of them was a female, since I hope to expand little Roz' harem... but either way I was glad to have brought Mo and Joe out of a situation in which they would have likely died of a respiratory infection. Since both are male, I knew that these, too, would be rehabilitated and then adopted out to someone who is familiar with proper tortoise care.
Upon arriving home, I threw away all the cedar shavings, and scrubbed the whole table surface. Then I got a cement paver from a friend for the basking area, and attached a 'gallows' type contraption on one side of the table to hang the heat lamps from. I pilfered a heat lamp from my other torts, and ordered a good basking lamp and a UVB strip light. For now I lined the table with newspaper, and filled a giant turkey-baking-pan with moistened coconut coir. I wanted to keep an eye on both tortoises' feces and urates, to get an idea for their health. They started burrowing in the coir right away.
|Mo and Jo burrowing in their coconut coir. |
They had been kept in cedar shavings for 2 years.
Joe had a beautiful, smooth shell. He was obviously not young - my guess was around 50 or so, judging by his face and shell, and the wear and tear on his plastron (the underside of his shell). He had puffy eyes, an overgrown beak, and very, very long toenails. I hoped that the puffy eyes were just an irritation from the dry cedar shavings, and that with proper humidity they would get better on their own. His shell was 6 inches long, and he weighed 500g.
|Mo - very heavy and dense|
As soon as their basking area was set up (with a nice hot 95-100 degrees F), they started to spend most of their time basking. Remember, the previous owners just set their table by a window, and didn't add any heat or lighting. I bathed them daily for about a week, just to make sure they were hydrated (they have a water dish in their tort table, too). I also encouraged them to dig in the moist coco coir, and misted them, to help their puffy eyes. Mo's eyes went back to normal within a couple of days, and Joe's eyes stopped looking swollen about 2 weeks later.
|The 'quarantine' tort table - newspaper covers most of it, so I can monitor feces... they LOVE burrowing in the coco coir, but for now only get a small portion of it.|
Both Mo and Joe were very friendly - they like to come over for a visit if someone is near their table, and they LOVE to eat right out of my hands. I put a cuttlebone into their tort table, and they crunched it down to about half its original size... they obviously needed the calcium.
|Top view of Mo's carapace. I've treated the shell rot (white spots).|
As of right now, I still have Mo. This sweet old-man-tort has grown on me, and I haven't had the heart to search for a new home for him yet. I also still want to keep an eye on him, to see if he has fully recovered from his worm infestation - the vet will examine a fecal sample in a few weeks to see if new worms hatched in spite of the repeat treatment.
|Sweet old man, Mo|