Tortoises are still a popular pet and so they should be. They have fantastic personalities and are just so charming and given the right environment they will live longer than most people!
Unfortunately an animal that is adapted to live a a warm dry environment such as the Mediterranean does not do so well in England’s legendary climate. There is at most times of the year insufficient heat and natural UV light from the sun. Appropriate diet with mineral supplementation is also really important.
There are several things that can be done to improve the husbandry of our Tortoises.
- Give them a warm water bath every morning for 10 minutes to warm up their body and ensure they stay hydrated.
- Keep your tortoise inside during poor weather days.
- Supply additional heat and full spectrum UV light in the Spring and Autumn.
- Diet should concontrate on high fibre, low protein and high calcium, with plenty of variation. Avoid iceberg lettuce and supply plenty of varied darker greens such as watercress, cabbage and weeds such as dandelions.
- Calcium supplemetation with powder such as Reptavite sprinkled on the food ensures there is an adequate daily intake.
The tortoise in the picture has sore eyes secondary to Vitamin A deficiency and ‘humping’ of the dorsal scutes associated with excessive protein and lack of calicum. Modification of diet, supplementation and additional UV light resolved the issue over time.