my 2 tortoise died in hibernation

I had 2 tortoise and i put them in hibernation the same way as before, they were 3 yrs old. i left them for an hour at room temperature but they did not stir,so i opened the box and the bigger one of the two had her head right out which i thought was strange and the little one was all closed up. there was no sign of life so i put them under their basking lamp and an hour later still nothing, then i noticed a trickle of blood from the bigger ones mouth so i picked her up and she just looked swollen everywhere and her shell was a strange colour and the little one just isnt doing anything but im sure she is dead too because there is a horrible smell from them both, im heart brocken because i dont know whats gone wrong. could they have froze to death because it was very cold one night and they were in the out house so i brought them inside and put them in an unheated room ,but what would make her bleed like that, they were very healthy when they went into hibernation please could you shed some light for me so that i will know in the future many thanks. Elaine

Comments for my 2 tortoise died in hibernation

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Jan 25, 2023
Testing for signs of life
by: Shelly

I am sorry for you concern. If the tortoise's limbs and head are limp and do not move at all when they are touched, your tortoise is not alive.

Jan 14, 2023
Tortoise in a Coma or Dead
by: Lyndsay

My little due is just over a year old and seems what I thought was hibernating but ita been 4 months now. He's still I'm shape, not decomposing but his eyes are sunken. Any ideas what I could do?

Apr 10, 2018
Same situation
by: Luke

I had the same problem. My little man was swollen and been found to be bleeding. Absolute killer. He was my little guy and took him everywhere. It's so hard to let go of pets who have contributed to so much of your time. Still miss him :(

Mar 14, 2018
Tortoise survival in cold weather
by: Shelly

What a heartwarming story. Thank you so much for sharing this story of tortoise survival in cold weather.

Take it slow and steady

Mar 14, 2018
Can tortoises survive in extremely cold weather?
by: Anonymous

Hi there so sorry to hear about the many loses of tortoise, all I will say is that my 15 year old herman was feared dead by practically all of my children's after losing him in my garden for over 7 months, whereby recently we'd experienced some of the mildest winters in many years and 25 cm of thick snow.

A few weeks after the snow had thawed out I began pruning and preparing my garden for the spring in which I had stumbled across my missing tortoise after turning over the ground gently with my spade where clearly he had completely burried himself in the ground.

Despite the harsh winter of approximately being -12 deg some nights he survived and is now making a full recovery indoors and started eating within hours of finding him,

Mar 31, 2017
by: Anonymous

I had tortoises when i was 9 years old and one winter they didnt wakeup. We tried EVERYWAY!!!!!
But they were completly normal and they even moved a little bit! I gave it to my aunt. And she said they are all fine! But after a few years my mom said that one of them didnt wake up that winter.
are they dead... They moved! they blinked their eyes a little bit open!!! I keep asking my mum is she dead? and she says that no she is still sleeping

Feb 06, 2017
dead tortoise
by: Anonymous

I think it was dead all along. Please don't stress about what you did.

Feb 06, 2017
limp tortoise
by: Anonymous

I don't think your tortoise was hibernating. It was most likely dead. Please do not torture yourself about this.

Feb 03, 2017
Is mine dead?
by: Anonymous

Found my tortoise monday pm with closed eyes, limp limbs. Thought dead and burried tuesday. Then i read the possibility of hibernation or coma and unburried it, took in house and put under heat lamp overnight. Remained limp. Now wed am, i soaked in shallow warm water, no change. Kept indoors. Thurs am limbs stiffer. Still no smell, eyes closed. I burried the tortoise to ight, but now I still cannot sleep thinking maybe it is alive.

May 04, 2016
Lost my tortoise
by: Anonymousca

I lost my 75 year old tortoise atthe weekend it's so sad as his girlfriend is wondering around the garden looking for him lucky we have a young 7year old maybe she will befriend him

Apr 06, 2016
Tortoise never survived
by: Gill

Had 2 tortoises for over 30 years previous owner bout 20 years,have done the same every year ,but this year for some reason larger tortoise would not hibernate in normal shed so put him in carboard box ,with straw,above height so not to cold he didnt make it eyes missing ,bled at the bottom of shell,so sad.

Apr 05, 2016
lost our tortoise sunday
by: Anonymous

lost our tortoise billy sunday had him for forty eight years always lived in gardan came out of hibernation early thiis year did not come out found him died in house

Apr 02, 2016
I'm so sorry
by: Anonymous

I just found my lovely Nigel in my garden after losing him last summer as someone left his cage open. Sadly he didn't make hibernation as his head was missing. Why something so horrific like this have to happen to something so beautiful and gentle, I don't know what to do. :( I know this reply is a few years after yours, but io can relate to you.

Feb 11, 2016
I lost mine, too
by: Anonymous

I lost my Hermann's Tortoise and my Russian tortoise in the last 2 days. I have two more who are still hibernating Or may have also died. All 4 did fine last year. I live in Califonria and I am wondering if maybe this winter has been too wet for them.

Jan 19, 2016
So sorry
by: Shelly

Losing an animal friend can be so devastating!

Not everyone can withstand that loss equally.

I wish you healing for your heart.

Keep it slow and steady.

Jan 18, 2016
by: Annmarie

Lost my little girl today devastated and the way I found her all swollen and bleeding!! After ready all these sad comments and after people doing this for 30 years and it happening to them I've decided to not try again I have 2 young children who are so upset that she's died and I can't get the picture of her like that out of my head 😞😞😞

Apr 04, 2015
So sad
by: Shelly

I am so sorry about Rifraf. Hibernation is often a problem.

Keep it slow and steady.

Apr 03, 2015
ed ...rifraf.
by: Anonymous

Rifraf stays in a old drawer in back of room in straw . we woke her last week gave her warm baths everyday she seemed OK still slow this morning I went to pick her up she didn't move and was very light . I've took her to vets he's only 95%.sure .she's 6 / Herman we didn't do anything different from before

Apr 16, 2013
Hermann Tortoise
by: Anonymous

Our Hermann tortoise didn't make it through hibernation this year either. We're not sure of his age, but we had him for over 30 years and he was fully grown when we found him. We went through the same hibernation routine as usual, but he was in a similar bloodied condition to others mentioned here when we went to wake him up. So sad to hear of others who have lost their tortoises this year.

Apr 06, 2013
so sad
by: emma

I have lost my two babys this winter they were 31 years old same as above swallon bodys ect

Apr 02, 2013
by: Anonymous

Our Herman tortoise didn't make it though this winter... To cold and too long I'm afraid. I did the same as every year. We are all sad and sad to hear the loss of other tortoises too.

Mar 16, 2013
Tortoise died
by: Anonymous

I have just had this with our 50 year old herman tortoise. My number one suspicion is that it was slightly more difficult getting him in to hibernation as a result of the milder weather. I fear that his body has not completely purged all waste and fluid and there has been a gas built up. It is vital to these animals that their system is free of this and they must not be fed for some time prior to hibernationm

Mar 25, 2011
healthy tortoise dying in hibernation
by: Anonymous

I dont think any one of you that have lost tortoises in hibernation over the last couple of years or so have done anything wrong. what we have to think about now is that our winters have been so harsh of late. extremely cold and we are talking minus 16 in some places that means certain death to any tortoise im afraid no matter how well you think they are wrapped up. even when placed in outbuildings they should have a thermometer and if this drops to a certain temperature you should have some heating device that will kick in and bring it back up to what it should be.its heartbreaking i know because it also happened to two of my tortoise 3yrs ago.I wont make the same mistake again.Dont blame yourselves but they have all froze to death it seems. so sorry

Mar 22, 2011
My tortoises are dead
by: Anonymous

3 of my beautiful tortoises died in hibernation this year.

I am so sad. They were so healthy prior to hibernation.

Do you think that they froze to death in the harsh winter. They were in a garden shed inside their own little kennels with straw and covered in blankets.

I have never had problems before.

Feb 20, 2011
2 tortoise
by: Jane

i have been doing the same thing with my tortoise for over thirty years now and two have died and as above was very swollen with blood over its eye the other one just looked like it was still a sleep.I want to know if ive done anything wrong.

Feb 26, 2010
by: janet

I too have had the same happen to my 3 tortoises, as anyone any ideas what happend?

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