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Reptiles/Red Footed Tortise


I am watching my grandson's (10yr old) Red Footed Tortise while he is on vacation.  I put him out in our back yard lawn ( no bushes or crawl spaces in back yard) .  I went into the house for two minutes to make up his food and I have been looking for him for over 5 hours and am besides myself.  We live in a residential area.  Can you make any suggestions?  The Tortise is about 4-5 inches long and my grass is not long.  Thank you.

OK, we have to work from two points of view:

1. He's still back there and hard to see-if there was/is any way for him to get out of the yard he probably is long gone by now.  You didn't mention whether the yard was closed off or not so I'm a little under-informed.  Is the yard fenced?  Could he have gotten through the fence?  ANYTHING he could get under (tortoises like under)-leaf cover, a shed, a lawn mower, anything.  Assuming he couldn't get out of the yard-call a few friends and cover every single inch of it.  You could try putting out a plate of yummy smelling fruit and see if he shows back up for it.

2.  Something got him...  Hawk, eagle, cat, dog, opossum, curious neighbor.

I'm hoping for the best, I've had the same thing nearly happen to me with tortoises-it's amazing of fast they can move when you're NOT looking.  Often thought of painting a bright orange stripe down their backs or gluing a flag to them!


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My area of expertise would be snakes and reptile genetics (again mostly w/ snakes). Although I have dealt w/ almost all species of reptiles commonly sold in the US.


15 years keeping, breeding, selling, and teaching about reptiles.

Past board member of the Central FL Herpetological Society

B.S. Biology Ed. UCF

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