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Turtles/Turtle Compatibility

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Question
I have 2 small Eastern Box turtles and wanted to get a baby Hermann's tortoise.  My box turtles are about 4" and about 5 years old and are very cordial with each other.  Would they accept a Hermann's?  If not, what type of tortoise would they get along with (and have matched habitats)?

Thank you!

Answer
Mixing species is not a good idea, and in particular, a Hermann's would be very unsuitable for a box turtle enclosure because their environmental and dietary needs are entirely different.  It's not a good idea to put different species together because each species has their own immunities, and it's possible to introduce foreign pathogens that could cause illness and even death.  In any case, box turtles can actually be quite aggressive as they mature, and often mixing speces can result in injuries.  But to answer your specific question, there wouldn't be any tortoise species that would work well with box turtles, even if I could recommend it.

If you add another box turtle to your enclosure, keep in mind that they require quite a bit of room and a trio even more so.  Ideally, they should be living outdoors all year round, but indoors you really need an enclosure that's at least 4 x 8.  Keeping multiples of turtles or tortoises can be very interesting and rewarding, but it does demand a lot of space (another reason why an outside pen is better--it's healthier, but you can also often provide more room than is possible indoors).

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Jeannie

Expertise

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.

Experience

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.

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

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