Please Help! I found a tortoise!

What kind of tortoise is this?

What kind of tortoise is this?


My name is Trish and my fiance and I found a tortoise walking across the middle of the street in our neighborhood. We live in Orlando, Florida...I was quite surprisd to see a tiny tortoise in the street. I'm assuming he was someone's pet, and he got away somehow. We have never had a tortoise before, although we have had a few turtles, but I understand that tortoises are much different than turtles. I have been searching all over the internet and I can't really pinpoint exactly what breed/type of tortoise he/she is. I really would like to keep him/her and keep him/her happy...can someone please tell me what breed/type you think he/she might be? Also, is there a way for me to tell if he/she is male or female? He/she also seems to have some kind of films or something over he/she's eye...i almost cannot even see the I'm very concerned about that. Please help! Any thoughts would be much appreciated!!


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Jun 06, 2014
Desert tortoise
by: Michael

That tortoise is called a desert tortoise. Their main diet is vegetables. They can grow an average of about 6-7 inches. If i were you i would rather put him back right were you found him or get him good supplies to live

Jul 30, 2011
cute little guy
by: Margie

I hope you keep him/her and give it a good home they are wild in the desert areas in most other countries, not too many states here in USA. We have two and they are very easy to care for but need lots of room! No small Quarters! They eat a wide variety of vegtables fruits noodles shellfish ect... Good Luck the internet has lots of info, the first response was from someone careless! wonder if it is blind and you put it back where you found it to fend for itself!

Jun 06, 2010
put him back
by: Anonymous

The best thing to do is put him back where you found him..if you want him to live long and healthy.The odds of him being a "lost pet" are slim to NONE. FL is FULL of turtles and tortoises in THE WILD. Lets try and keep it that way. I know it sounds like a good idea to keep him..and you will always wonder what happened to him/her...but he will never be have the chance to breed or live FREE. THey are HIGH maintence animals and its needs are sometime not meet by poeple keeping them. Also keep in mind..they live a LONG time. Maybe just enjoy him for a while, then let him go back where he came from?

May 26, 2010
Found tortoise
by: Don Williams

Baby gopher tortoise, contact local fish and game wildlife management.
Don Williams

May 22, 2010
by: Anonymous

Hi Trish,

It seems lots of Tortoises escape from their original homes. I found my Tortoise as well. I had never owned a Tortoise/turtle in my life but fell in love with my little guy almost immediately.

I like you did not know what type of Tortoise it was so I took it to the nearest Reptile Pet store and they new right away that mine was Russian and was a male. When they are very young its hard to tell the sex but most Tortoises have a long tail if they are male and a short tail when they are a female.

Your Tortoise does not look like a Russian or a Desert Tortoise to me. Contact your local pet shop or google your local Turtle/Tortoise Rescue Society in your area and they can help you with all of the things your new Tortoise needs. My Tortoise was very sick when I found him but I was able to nurse him back to full and complete health. The eye infection can get very serious so pls get him to a vet asap. You will adore your Tortoise and become very addicted to how to raise and possibly breed him/her. I now own 10 Tortoises from all over the world. They are some of the best pets I've ever owned and mine have become very personable. Don't believe that your Tortoise will not become close to you. All of mine eat out of my hands, follow me around the yard and some crawl up on my lap and fall asleep.

Become educated on your Tortoise and they may live with you your whole life!

Good Luck! DeeDee

May 22, 2010
I found a tortoise too!
by: Marcia

I recently found a tortoise walking across a street also. They hibernate during November through March (can vary), so the one you found probably had just woken up. Since I live in southern California, I assumed mine was a desert tortoise, which I had many years ago, however when I went to get some supplies for her, I saw a Russian tortoise for sale in the pet store. It is against the law to sell desert tortoises and they must be permitted by Federal law as they are on the endangered list. So yours is either a desert tortoise or a Russian tortoise. I Googled both to look at photos and still not sure.

You did not say the size of the tortoise, but it looks pretty young. You can usually tell if it is male or female by the underbelly.....female flat, males have curve for mounting....hope this helps.

Turtles have webbed feet and tortoises do not....they they do not swim, but do need water ( you can place in shallow but not deep pan of water and they can climb out) are very different and have different needs and diets. My likes cucumber, spinach leaves, Romaine lettuce, dandalions, occasional apple NOT SEEDS, carrot slices and eats various things in my yard. There are several plants which are poisonous to them to just Google tortoise diet or foods and there are several lists.

As for her eye, you may have to go to a vet....sounds like some type of infection. I Googled and found vets in my area that specialize in tortoises. Hope you can do so too.

Good luck to you....tortoises are very interesting creatures...they have personalities...they can be escape artists, especially the little ones.

Hopes this helps a little....


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