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Common Name: Hermanns Tortoise

Latin Name: Testudo hermanni

Distribution: Southern Europe Natural Habitat: Grassland/Scrub
Adult Size: 8-10 inches Diet: Herbivore
Life Span: 50+ Years

NATURAL HABITAT

Southern Europe. They live in the Mediterranean forests, arid grasslands and scrub hillsides.

HOUSING

These should be kept individually or if in groups never keep two males together. A dry savanna or semi arid environment should be provided. However a large water dish should be provided for them to bathe in. They should NOT be kept in the garden all year round due to the fact our temperatures and high rainfall can create many health problems. If on a hot sunny day you wish to put them in the garden, they should be placed in a run to prevent them from escaping and avoid injuries caused by predators. Remove any plants which may be toxic to tortoises.

Hides should be provided. A basking light and UVA & UVB lighting is necessary for the health and wellbeing of the tortoise. This should be on for 12-14 hours a day.

Daily maintenance is required which involves picking out droppings, changing water and feeding your tortoise.

TEMPERATURE:

To ensure the tortoise can thermoregulate effectively there should be a thermal gradient provided by using a basking light at one end.

A day temperature should be gradient from 26-32°c (78 to 90°F).
Maintain night temperature range between 21-24°c (70-75°F).

FOOD & FEEDING

Primarily vegetarian. Ensure a variety of vegetables are used and include ‘safe’ weeds such as Dandelions. Some fruit can be added. Ensure a good vitamin and mineral supplement is used, alternatively we have pellets that are available which are palatable but also ensure the correct vitamins and minerals are being eaten.

HEALTH

Tortoises can live for 50 years plus in captivity. An environment and diet as described above will preclude most problems. The most often encountered disease will be a metabolic bone disorder caused by insufficient vitamin D3 or calcium. They are also prone to upper respiratory problems when kept at cooler temperatures. If any illness is suspected then consult a good exotic vet.

All reptiles possess zoonotic properties so ensure you wash your hands after handling your reptile.

HIBERNATION

It is not necessary to hibernate a tortoise (unless you want to breed) and unless you know how to hibernate this should never be attempted. Young, underweight and ill tortoises should not be hibernated.

TORTOISES AND THE LAW

This species of tortoises are protected under CITES and when purchased should be accompanied with A10 paperwork and will legally need to be microchipped.

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