Tortoise Enclosure : How To Protect A Tortoise From Running Away?

Prevent runaways

During the summer, the accidents affecting the terrestrial tortoises are frequent and to know the risks which threaten them allows to better prevent them. Even if it lives in an enclosure, a tortoise must be carefully supervised.

Don’t underestimate the ability of tortoise to climb fences or dig under them. To prevent your tortoise from running away and getting hit by a car or caught by a predator, the enclosure fence should be at least 50 cm high and buried at least 20 cm. To not incite the tortoise to leave its enclosure, it is better that the walls are opaque (avoid the grid). While trying to climb the fence, it happens that a tortoise falls on its back and cannot get back on its legs. To avoid that, it is necessary that the relief is irregular at the edge of the enclosure: stones, a grassy slope (…) will be able to help him to stand up. It is necessary to watch his tortoise several times in the day, to put it back on its legs if necessary.

Protect inside the enclosure

Every element placed in the enclosure of the tortoise must be stable to prevent the risks of fall. Even if it likes the sun, the tortoise must be able to put itself in the shade if it wishes it and to find a place to shelter at night or during the strong heats. In summer, a tortoise will appreciate very much to be able to bathe but in the basin, the height of water must be lower than the tortoise because the risk of drowning is real. If the children or a dog enter the enclosure of the tortoise, a surveillance is necessary: the tortoise is not a toy!

Pay Attention when you garden

If the tortoise walks freely in the garden, it is easy to forget it when you garden or to fail to locate it. Many tortoise fall victim to the blades of lawnmowers, scythes or other gardening tools. If you burn a pile of dead leaves, make sure the tortoise is not hidden underneath. Some owners paint their tortoise shell to make it more visible!

In case of accident, contact quickly your veterinarian for an emergency care. When the shell is damaged, cover it with a clean and wet cloth to limit the dehydration of the tortoise. If the carapace is very fragile, make a makeshift bandage with an elastic bandage to stabilize the pieces until the arrival at the clinic.