Q:

What care does a Russian tortoise need?

A:

Quick Answer

Russian tortoises should be inspected by a qualified veterinarian upon purchase. Provide the tortoise with a large home with bedding that is a 50/50 mix of play sand and topsoil. They need a warm spot in which to bask with moderate temperatures throughout the rest of the space and water in which to soak. Feed the tortoise a diet high in fiber and low in protein for best results.

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Full Answer

Many Russian tortoises are shipped in crowded crates when imported into the United States. This stresses the tortoise and invites parasites and illness. Take the tortoise to a veterinarian specializing in turtles. The veterinarian should check the tortoise and its fecal sample for parasites and provide treatment if necessary.

Create a large home for your tortoise, building a tortoise table or using a large container. The bedding should be kept slightly moist. The basking area should be regulated to a temperature of about 95 F, with the opposite end of the habitat being a cooler 70 degrees. Use fluorescent bulbs to provide the necessary heat. Place the bulbs on a timer, turning them off at night to allow for a temperature drop similar to what the tortoise would experience in the wild. Replace the bulbs every six months.

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