Friday, March 7, 2014

I guess I should update who the tortoise stars of this blog are.

It has been a long time since the last 'tortoise inventory' blog post. My tortoise bale (that's what you call a group of tortoises) has grown just a little. This means more food, more enclosures... and more fun!

A few of the previously featured tortoises now live with friends here in town - Boo lives with a wonderful local woman who adores him and has re-named him Rok. He gets to roam a nice outdoor space, and gets spoiled rotten. Mo continues to be happy and healthy with my friends, and he now has a lady-friend-tortoise, Molly. I really love seeing the tortoises that I rehabilitated find happy lives with my friends! (I should say "Muahuahuahua, my evil plan to infest interest my friends with tortoises is working!)

Although I keep my tortoises separated by species, you get to meet the tortoise stars of this blog all in one place, for once:

The Russian tortoises:
The Testudo horsfieldii are a lively bunch. 
Timmy was the first one I got, and she remains the boss of them all, even though she is not the biggest. She patrols her territory with gusto. She is also the only female who has laid eggs for me so far. She is about 7 inches SCL.
Roz was my second tortoise, and although he is male, he does not seem very excited about his little tortoise harem. He only wants Timmy. He is about 5 inches SCL.
Jill is the smallest of the females, but is 5.5" SCL now, which is larger than Roz. Remember how small she was when I got her? She is still the most timid, and when they are indoors, I house her separately from the others because she becomes withdrawn if they pick on her. Outdoors she does fine. 
Mila is my pretty green girl. She is easy going, and gets along fine with the others. I suspect she will grow to be very large, as she eats like a little piggy. Her shell is very green, and some day I think she will have some stunning babies. She is very domed, and about 6" SCL. 
Lady is my heaviest girl, though no longer the longest. She is built like a tank, almost as wide as she is long, and very domed. She loves to eat, and it shows in her sturdy build. She is friendly with kids, and is a wonderful tortoise to bring to my kids' school because she doesn't pee or poop when being handled, and she seeks out human attention. She is 7.5" SCL.
Vivian is my longest girl, though not my heaviest. She came into my care last Fall, and has been gaining weight steadily. She is a little shy, but she holds her own. Her shell has an interesting greenish hue. She recently finished her quarantine period, so she is housed with Lady. The two get along just fine, and they dwarf all the other tortoises. Vivian was named by our Russian tortoise Facebook group. She is 8" SCL. 

Oh wait. And there is one more Russian tortoise! Meet our newest addition, a little captive-bred male with a very pretty shell! After his quarantine period, he will get his own little tortoise harem, since Roz doesn't show interest in the other females. I haven't named him yet.

Next up, the Marginated tortoise babies:
 From left to right, these Marginated tortoises are Bubbles, Buttercup, and Blossom. They are fabulous, spunky little critters. Bubbles is huge for her age, she is actually the youngest. I suspect she will outgrow Buttercup within the next half year. Blossom is petite, but very spunky, and she is a climber! Buttercup is getting huge, and I've had to cut a larger hole into their hide to allow for her to fit through. She is very friendly.

The Redfoot tortoise:
You would not believe how much this handsome dude has grown. He looks dry in this picture, but he is actually kept in a tropically humid environment, and is thriving like crazy under those conditions. He has nearly doubled his weight since last August (when he admittedly was underweight). His new growth is also coming in very smoothly. He will always have some bumps from his earlier care, but who really cares, since he is so healthy. You might notice that I am referring to him as a HE. When I got him, he looked like a female, based on his tail. Then one day he exposed his manly bits to me during a soak, and his tail has grown and he is starting to get an indented waist, which is typical of a redfoot male. My husband named him 'Oup' (as in 'This is my tortoise Oup' - say it quickly...hahah... get it?). He will soon be joining a friend's group of redfoot tortoises. Lucky guy!

Last, but definitely not least, our Leopard tortoise:
Penelope joined us this February. She had a bit of a rough start in life, but with good healthy food, natural sunlight, lots of heat and humidity, and sequential beak trimming to correct her cross-bite/underbite, I am confident she will thrive. She has already gained a significant amount of weight over the 3 weeks I've had her, much of which I suspect is healthy water weight. She will eat anything I offer her, and she has been chowing down on cuttlefish bone (which is a good source of calcium) like crazy. She is enjoying being misted with warm water twice a day, and I am excited to see her new growth come in more smoothly.

On a side-note, feel free to swing by this fun little video clip of one of the recent TV reports featuring my cozies on KATU Portland and KOMO News.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Hooray for more articles!

It appears that my pictures of Buttercup in her little stegosaurus cozy and the matching snail cozy have recently made their rounds on the Internet. How fun! 

Here are the links to the articles:

Buttercup and Snail

Snail being shy

Two cute cozy critters