Tortoise Social needs?

by Jen
(Minneapolis, MN)

I often read that tortoises don't have social needs because they live alone in the wild. I have had one female Russian Tortoise for about a year, and I recently got a second (male) one. They do not live in the same enclosure yet, but a couple times I have taken them outside together, and my female always follows my male around and seems very interested in him. Just the other day I put him in her enclosure for a few minutes while I was cleaning his, and they spent their time together nuzzling each other. I also noticed at the pet store that despite having a big enough cage and one hiding spot for each tortoise, they all piled into the same hiding spot. It seems to me like despite what everybody says about tortoises not having social needs, they are social animals. I'm wondering if maybe their social behavior has just not been researched much? Or are the sources I read wrong? Or is it just that their social behavior in captivity is different from their social behavior in the wild?

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Dec 01, 2018
RT social needs
by: Michael

Hey I have had my female for a year and just got a male as well. They live separately, but when i put them together the male went up to her and they just put their heads up to each other and smelled each others faces for a while. I thuink that they should live alone, but periodically have some contactw with another tortoise. I believe they do need to have contact with another one of their species a lot, just not living together, unless a HUGE enclosure is available, like a 8 by 4 feet at minimum for two of different sexes if you really want them together. I think this because occasionally my male would go on top of the female to get to the heat more in the short time i put them together, and she would run away because she didnt want him on her. she got the wrong idea lol, but they shoudlnt really live together in my opinion.

Jun 02, 2017
hermann tortiose
by: Anonymous

i have a hermann tortioses who will come to me outside of cage and likes to cuddle and looks at me when in cage

Nov 08, 2014
Friendly tortoise
by: Wendy

When I walk past his cage he always comes to the side and looks at me, when I have him out he is interested in my two Dobermans im sure tortoises like to have company

Apr 12, 2013
russian tortoise
by: Anonymous

I just bought a tortoise a month ago and she climbs over everything just to get to me.. So i'm wondering if she is lonely in that cage all by herself.. Should i get her a partner or not is this a good idea??/

Sep 21, 2009
social russian tortoise
by: Anonymous

As long as they have enough space to get away when they need to, tortoises can enjoy each other's company.

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