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Turtles/turtle not moving


Hi I have a pair of Malaysian turtles who are less than a few months old. They are kept in a clean tank and regularly fed. Last night at 130 when I got back home they were fine and I fed them and went to sleep. When I got up in the morning one of them had stopped moving but the other is fine as usual.

The turtle who is not moving has his eyes closed and there is no response to any stimuli I have pet him but no movement and his body is still. Could he be hibernating or has he passed away. Between the two he is the most dominant eats first sits on the best spot so I'm a bit perplexed. The shy one is behaving as usual.

The tank is always clean and I give them regular pet food I bought from pet store both eat the same food.

Please guide me. I'm awaiting your reply eagerly.

Harsh . India

Turtles don't go into hibernation like that, but in any case they don't hibernate out in the open (and wouldn't under basking temperatures).  If the turtle is dead, it will be apparent very quickly, but if there is no response when you gentlly tug on a leg, it's probably dead.

It's nearly impossible to say why a turtle dies if there are no symptoms and the setup is correct (unless a necropsy is done).  If you can post back with more information on the exact species and exactly how you have them set up (tank size, basking/UVB bulbs, temperatures), I can be of more help.  At the least, though, you need to feed a better diet.  There should be more variety than just commercial turtle food, especially if it isn't high quality.  Depending on the species, there should be live foods offered as well as greens and some fruit.  


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Questions regarding husbandry of Russian tortoises and other Mediterranean species, sulcata, and redfoot tortoises; general tortoise and turtle care; box turtle care. If I can't answer a specific question, I can provide sources for further research. Disclaimer: My advice is not a substitute for vet care. If I think your tortoise/turtle has a specific medical condition or injury that warrants a vet visit, I'll tell you so, and if possible I'll help you locate a vet. It is neither legal nor ethical for me to provide veterinary advice.


I have kept and bred Russian tortoises for over ten years and have other Mediterranean species plus redfoots and box turtles. I've worked with other tortoise and turtle species while doing volunteer rescue work; mostly sulcata but some leopards, California desert tortoises, yellowfoots, all box turtle species, red-eared sliders, etc. I don't personally keep aquatic species, but have access to a wealth of information and research to help you with any questions you might have.

My knowledge is based on hands-on experience keeping, breeding, and working with tortoises and turtles.

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