Saturday, March 30, 2013

Boo update

Little Boo, our Greek tortoise, is doing SO well! He has gained quite a bit of weight, he is eating lots of new weeds and greens I pick for him, and he is much more friendly.  

Boo still hides when you first pick him up...
When we first got Boo, he felt alarmingly light when you picked him up. Now he feels nice and heavy, like a healthy tortoise should. If you look in the picture above, you can also see a nice bright new growth ring showing up. I'm happy to see that the new growth is nice and smooth.

...but then he comes back out of his shell, and squirms and sniffs you!
I love Boo's little tortoise face. He has huge eyes, and a funny little nose...

Boo from the side. Such a handsome little dude!
Boo also has a nice new outdoor enclosure now that he spends the daytime in. A few months ago I found a big 6'x4' heavy-duty-plastic koi pond on Craigslist. I excavated a hole, filled the hole with gravel, drilled drainage holes into the bottom of the pod, put more gravel into the pond, covered the gravel with landscape fabric, and put the dirt back in, now mixed with some leaves and a little sand. 

Boo, on top of the little hill I built in there
The outdoor enclosure is on the west side of the house, so it is shady there until about 11am. Because of this, Boo stays indoor during the morning, and then once the sun hits this area, I bring him outside. He'll spend all the sunny days outside, but when it is pouring, he gets to be indoors, since cold, wet weather isn't good for these little guys.

Not much is growing in there right now...
I transplanted a few plants and weeds, and I seeded the whole enclosure
with a tortoise-friendly seed mix my friend gave me. 
Because this side of the house gets direct afternoon sun for several hours, I had to make sure to create multiple micro-climates for Boo. I built him an insulated tortoise hide out of an old recycling bin and a cement mixing tub, filled with organic top soil. He can dig down into there if it gets too hot.

The view of the Koi pond - the tub in the back is 1/2 of the hide house.
The water dish is missing from the picture above - but you can get a general idea of the enclosure. There is a hill, some rocks, some plants, a hide house (in the pic above the roof is missing from it).

Boo likes the thistle and the rosemary plant.
 I only have pictures of Boo hiding while he's in the enclosure, but he actually really enjoyed walking all around and exploring. He sunned himself for a little while, and finally dug down into the dirt.

The outdoor enclosure with the lid down.
The above picture shows the enclosure with the lid on. This is to help protect Boo from any hawks, crows, or cats that might happen by during the daytime. The odd green grassy stuff came with the lid (used to be part of an iguana cage), and still needs to be trimmed. It will provide some nice dappled shade when I finish trimming and attaching it better.

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