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Comment on Do I really need a buddy?

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Q: Because some people will run out and buy another tortoise by reading your opinion on tortoises having buddies. Will you say that you are really only talking about the Galops and Aldabras? Also, would you say, the right size (very large)enclosures, sight barriers, etc plays a big part in it? I am just concerned about all the members that have been waiting for at least one person to say their tort needs a buddy, to run out an get that buddy, without paying attention to the rest of what you said. Example, Your talking Galops and Aldabras and your being asked about a species you haven’t even mentioned. So we don’t have a bunch of tortoises thrown in to be a buddy, and members with fighting tortoises, can you elaborate a little more on the exact (as close as possible) conditions that your multiples tortoises were kept and be species specific. As much as I would love tortoises to all get along with a buddy. I do believe it is a few species that can get along with little or no problems. Then the others, need more specific enclosure considerations, in order for them to get along in pairs/groups. Thanks. Interesting reading your thread. Do look forward to more of your post.

A: Hi Wellington .

Your right my comments we specifically aimed at Galapagos and Aldabras. I also raise Redfoots, Yellowfoots, Spurs and Elongated Tortoises, (Not to mention Cyclura Iguanas) I have seen all of those species seemingly getting along fine individually, But to be honest I have not done a scientific study, it's only my observations of my own animals. I tried to make that clear in my post.

Something that bothers me in the Tortoise world is, you always find someone who thinks they're an expert because they have 3 animals and have been doing it for 5 years. All of a sudden they are an expert. Quite honestly, I at one time felt the same way about myself.

Its only after years of studying and reflection do you realize how little you actually know.

I do feel in all of those species cases when raising hatchlings they do much better with mutable animals, this motivates them to eat, I always think of it as food competition. I also notice that they are more active as hatchlings when in groups.

But I agree with you, I am sure there are species that require a lot of thought and cage design to produce the best results, but I think that plays out much more so as they get older. The other point I tried to emphasize in the post is these observations even though they are done over the last 30 years does not necessarily mean every person will have the same results, The animals on the farm here are a special group of animals and you can only conclude behavior just on this set of animals. I'll give you another example; you have heard me talk about the article I want to write about Galapagos and Aldabra differences in behavior. I have 8 Galapagos and 8 Aldabras it's in the observation of these animals I note the differences. I don't think it would be scientifically correct to conclude results based on such a small group of animals under these very specific conditions and then try to conclude that all animals in these species group will behave as mine do. What takes place here conditions or (impresses) those animals to act a certain way.

I talked about Aldabras being a social animal,

Here my Aldabras are very social they need each other. They don't like to be separated, they sleep on each other, one will put his head inside the shell of another animal, I have even seen two animals sleeping with their heads inside the others shell.

Back a few months ago I had to separate one of the males from the grope (I have 6 males) he was in an adjacent cage, all he did all day long was work to brake the fence down so he could get back into the group. And that's what he did. I have seen countless examples of this.

On the other hand, a Galop would have nothing to do with another animal (Let alone another male) putting his head that close to him. Galops want their space and don't appear to need much company from others. I am not saying that they want to be alone, I don't really know, I am just saying they don't appear to need it the way the Aldabras do. But I will say this, while I don't think they are sensitive to needing others around them when all eight Galops are in their pen, there is a definite sense of community and a definite sense of hierarchy I don't see this hierarchy in the Aldabras.

I have also talked about this "Aldabra socialism" with my friend the Aldabraman and he has concluded the same findings.

Actually we concurred on many points of behavior. I would love to hear others experiences and stories on Aldabra behavior.

Sam Pascucci

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