Tortoise Behaviour


Tortoise behaviour is very different from human behaviour. Beware of thinking that they have similar instincts as humans. They do not.


Tortoises are solitary, territorial animals. They do not form herds or packs. They do not pair a bond.


Tortoises meet to mate and then walk away. The female lays the eggs and then walks away.


This Means that:-


  • Keeping a solitary tortoise does not cause problems (eg. loneliness) they like being alone.

  • Keeping a group of all female tortoises can cause problems, especially if one or more are gravid.

  • Keeping a group of male tortoises is possible but requires regular supervision. Healthy males are sometimes aggressive. They can inflict injury and keep other less healthy or smaller individuals from eating or basking normally. If there is aggression then they will need to be separated.

  • Male and Female tortoises should be kept separately unless there are several female tortoises to one male. Keeping female and male tortoises together can cause a variety of problems which can be lethal and can end in death.

  • Keeping tortoises of different species together is not acceptable due to their different needs.

  • Tortoises' primary sense is smell not sight. They can be profoundly influenced by smells that human noses cannot detect. In particular, do not upset the equilibrium of males by the smell of the females. Sometimes event he smell carried on someone's shoes when walking from a female enclosure to a male enclosure, can have an effect.

  • Tortoises move forward as they eat. They also urinate and defecate as they eat. In semi-desert conditions, in the wild, this behaviour causes the plants, the tortoise needs, to thrive. In captivity this behaviour aids the spread of disease and internal parasites. BE HYGIENIC.