Aggressive Hermanns

Post your pictures and any questions here of European tortoises e.g. Ibera Spur Thigh, Ibera Graeca, Marginated, Hermanns, Kleinmanni and we include the Horsfield tortoise. Also, do add pictures of Mediterranean tortoises you have seen in the wild.
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tots1
Posts: 7
Joined: 04 May 2019, 08:43

Aggressive Hermanns

Post by tots1 » 29 May 2020, 18:02

Hi, Nigel is approx. 8 yrs old. He has all of a sudden over the last month become quite aggressive, trying to bite us and when allowed to roam the house, will try to attack our feet, moving as fast as he can. He is also off his food. Any advice welcome. Many thanks Tim

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Nina
Posts: 1187
Joined: 16 Mar 2017, 11:22

Re: Aggressive Hermanns

Post by Nina » 29 May 2020, 20:13

Hi Tim,

I'm afraid that is pretty standard male behaviour, but it can also be typical female behaviour if they are about to lay eggs (and females don't need a male to produce eggs).

All tortoises for some reason like bare feet -- and they go mad if you have red nail varnish on your toenails, so because they can give a really nasty bite i'd be sure not to go too near NIgel if you are barefoot.

I'm afraid that at 8 years old he is a teenager and is just doing what teenagers do. Does he have access to the outdoors? Some time in the natural sunlight in a garden, with space to roam around would probably do him good.

Regarding his lack of appetite, I'm not sure what the cause is -- there could be many -- but as long as he is well hydrated (nice long baths in warm water up to his chin several times a week) he should be OK, as long as he starts eating again within a couple of weeks. Have you tried tempting him with some of his favourite foods? A peeled cucumber, thinly sliced is always a favourite, and you can rub the cucumber on his other food and it might tempt him.

Finally, just to check, are you sure Nigel is male? If you're not, then send us a photo of his underside, clearly showing his tail and we can sex him for you.

Sorry I haven't provided any definite answers, and just raised more questions, but I do think he is probably just getting nto his stride as a male tortoise.

Nina

tots1
Posts: 7
Joined: 04 May 2019, 08:43

Re: Aggressive Hermanns

Post by tots1 » 29 May 2020, 20:47

Hi, thanks for the response. Nigel started life identifying as a Barbara but after scrutiny was pronounced a Nigel. We are letting him ramble out side, will bathe religiously and will don footwear. Many thanks, Tim.

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Nina
Posts: 1187
Joined: 16 Mar 2017, 11:22

Re: Aggressive Hermanns

Post by Nina » 30 May 2020, 10:06

I hope he calms down outdoors and starts eating again -- please let us know, as there are some tips for tricking him into eating if he goes for too long without. My Doris is the tortoise formerly known as Boris, for the same reasons that your Barbara became Nigel :D
When he is outdoors you might not always see him eating, so it's a good idea to keep a record of his weight, and if he puts a bit on then you know he is eating.

Nina

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