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Mixing Species

Discussion in 'Tortoises' started by aasagan, Feb 5, 2005.

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  1. aasagan

    aasagan Junior Member

    A month ago I got a female Eastern box turtle, roughly 15 years old, lovingly neglected by the previous owner. Every metabolic problem you could give a turtle she had, but she's doing well now and I hope in a year or so she'll be in as good a shape as possible, despite some permanent consequences of MBD, poor nail care and poor beak care. IN the mean time I picked up a male Western Box turtle at a pet shop that had already allowed 2 others to die without trying too hard to save them. I don't like the idea of participating in that cycle, i.e. being the end-user of the wild caught turtle trade, but it was going to die. So I bought it on the cheap and he's doing pretty well so far.

    Anyway, do you think I could house them together someday? The eastern has probably never seen another turtle, likes people and needs to be hand fed to some extent due to the beak damage. The western is currently freaked out by humans but otherwise well. The enclosure is indoors but large (approx 12 sq. ft.).

    Thanks, Andy.
     
  2. furryscaly

    furryscaly Elite Member

    Their care is pretty much the same, so housing these two together shouldn't pose two many problems. The biggest risk is that most box turtles are WC, and probably contain parasites. Ornates (western) typically aren't as hardy as the easterns either, and have a slightly more insectivorous diet.
     
  3. aasagan

    aasagan Junior Member

    Return to wild?

    Furryscale, I noticed you are listed as being from Texas. My understanding is that Texas is where this ornata came from. It gave me an idea. Can I return a boxie to the wild? I mean, he's been in captivity only briefly, and I wouldn't mind keeping him in shape, housed alone to avoid introducing parasites, waiting until the weather gets better (I'm in Chicago), then shipping him to someone willing to replace him in the wild from whence he came. Anyone do that sort of thing you know of?

    Thanks, Andy
     
  4. Jay DeMore

    Jay DeMore Elite Member

    Returning an animal to the wild, although a noble idea, is not allowed. It is illegal to return a captive animal to the wild, this is because there is a risk of cross contamination. Wild animals and captive animals are subject to different types of diseases and the risk of transferrence is too great. I house two different species of torts together with no problem, as long as the size is about the same you'll be fine. If diet is an issue just feed them seperately.
    Make sure you have a good source of UVB for them and they will be great pets for a long time.
     
  5. aasagan

    aasagan Junior Member

    Good enough. I guess he's mine for the long haul. He's about half the size of the female Eastern however. I think he's mature, because his head is quite green and I read that was a sign of maturity. Can you tell me another way to estimate age in a Western (ornata)?

    Thanks, Andy
     
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