Your top 35 Questions on Tortoise care and welfare


1 Mediterranean tortoise are the most common tortoise living in this country.
2 There are many captive breeding programs in this country at present.
3 By Mediterranean tortoise we refer to the Spur thighed and Henman's
4 Thankfully these species were banned from importation in the seventies.
5 Many of the tortoises living in this country to-day were brought in before the ban.
6 There are many different species- from the Mediterranean tortoise that hibernate, to the tropical species that do not.
7 Tortoises are cold blooded reptiles.
8 Tortoises need the warmth from the sun to warm their blood.
9 As we need food for energy, they need the sun.
10 Once they are warm they can eat and digest food.
11 Temperatures up to 90 deg F are required depending on species.
12 Tortoises living in our climate require extra light and heat from a basking lamp.
13 A basking lamp is a reflector lamp - not a heat lamp.
14 They require UV rays from the sun and turn this into vitamin D.
15 The tortoise should be allowed to have access to an outdoor garden.
16 One of the two main parts of a tortoise diet is fibre, secondly calcium.
17 Foods such as bread, milk, cereal, tinned fruit and dog food have been given to tortoises in the past with detrimental effects - causing lumpy shell and overweight leading to many internal problems.
18 Weeds - Dandelion, clover, Sow thistle and plantains are best offered.
19 The life span can be 100 years or more.
20 Different species/sexes of tortoise should be housed separately.
21 Tortoise produce eggs and bury them in the ground.
22 As many as 6 eggs are laid twice a year.
23 The sex of the hatchling is determined by the temperature in which the egg is incubated.
24 Hatchlings are as Independent as adult tortoise.
25 Hatchlings are normally kept in a vivarium for two years.
26 Hatchlings can be hibernated for a short period - by experienced owners.
27 Adult tortoise hibernate for four months of the year normally from November to February.
28 Only healthy tortoise should be hibernated.
29 In the wild they would bury themselves into the ground.
30 In captivity the most common methods are the Box or Fridge method.
31 Not all tortoises hibernate naturally - depending on the species.
32 Ideal temperature for hibernation are 5-6. deg c
33 Freezing temperatures can cause blindness or be fatal.
34 Owners should weigh and measure their tortoises regularly.
35 Vitamin Injections should not be given unless there is a genuine vitamin deficiency.
We trust this Information has answered some of your questions on tortoises.