Where is the Russian Tortoise found?
These reptiles are found in multiple locations which is why they have various names. Some of their names are steppe tortoise, Afghanistan tortoise, and even Russian box turtle.
While they can be found in different places, they are native to a territory of Uzbekistan. These tortoises like dry open spaces, so they will be found commonly in sand or deserts. While it’s rare for these to be found in grassy areas, it is definitely not impossible.
Russian Tortoise Diet
Russian tortoises are vegetarians so they mostly eat plants and vegetables. The best diet for them consists of flowers and leaves. Though it seems very easy to just feed them random flowers and leaves, some of them can have a bad effect on them. You should not feed them fruits because they can contain high levels of sugars. You will have to be careful with their diet because an improper diet can lead to their death.
They eat many things at one time, so don’t be scared that you are feeding them too much. They are also hibernating animals so before they go to sleep for many months, they will eat twice as much as they would normally eat. The best thing for them is variety. Feeding them only one thing will not help these reptiles, instead you should focus on giving them multiple foods at once. You shouldn’t give them more than they can eat because that could also have adverse side effects on them.
Russian Tortoise Predators
One thing you will have to keep track of when taking care of these tortoises is who their predators are. They have many natural predators out there, so you have to be cautious when taking them outside. You should secure their habitat from cats, dogs, possums, and even raccoons. If you have any of these pets in your house, you should try to separate them at all costs.
Russian Tortoise Breeding
They can start mating at any size and ages so don’t be surprised if your new tortoise starts breeding. Also, females can start laying eggs once it is at least 4.5 inches long. If you would like to breed your Russian tortoises, then it is suggested that you should have at least two to three females and one male in a habitat. There is a higher chance of success if there are more females. They also need to be well fed and healthy before they even think about mating. They will usually mate during the first few weeks after they come out of hibernation. The males will begin the mating by biting the female’s legs and circling it.
The female tortoise will be ready to lay eggs about a month after fertilization. You will need to provide a proper nesting area for these females. You will need to put some rocks in the nesting area because females like to dig and claw them. The females also become very anxious right before they lay eggs, so there is no need to worry if they avoid food for a few days. Females also tend to ignore their offspring after laying the eggs. The eggs should hatch within eight to twelve weeks.
Russian Tortoise Facts
While many people are now adopting and buying these tortoises, they still don’t know everything about them. Some of the Russian tortoise facts are:
- They are called Testudo Horsefieldii.
- The average life span for these reptiles in the wild is 100 years but when captured and held in captivity, their life span is cut in half.
- They have a docile nature so they are great for kids.
- They are usually imported to North America.
- Their captive production is very low.
- They are small in size and only grow to be eight to ten inches.
- Ideal housing would be outdoors.
- -They tend to dig a lot and go underground.
- They are not fussy eaters and are very active.
- They are land animals so they don’t like being in water a lot.
Are they endangered?
While they seem like great pets to be kept at home and many seem to enjoy their company, they are also at a high risk of being endangered. More than 100,000 of these reptiles are being taken from the wild which is soon going to make them extinct. It is suggested to protect these tortoises because without proper care, they will soon cease to exist.