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.
Post Reply
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

User avatar
Nina
Posts: 1493
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.

User avatar
Nina
Posts: 1493
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

Mark
Posts: 4
Joined: 04 May 2021, 22:36

Re: Aggressive Hermanns

Post by Mark » 04 May 2021, 22:42

I have two russians and one is rather aggressive towards the other, which is quite docile. It appears he has started to cause some bite damage on the docile one between the hind legs and tail. Any ideas? or should I consider separating them inside enclosure. They are outside and in a decent size enclosure. Moving into a larger enclosure next week, also outside.

User avatar
Nina
Posts: 1493
Joined: 16 Mar 2017, 11:22

Re: Aggressive Hermanns

Post by Nina » 05 May 2021, 09:18

Hi Mark,

How old are your Russians and do you know what sex they are? If they are young, then they might be establishing dominance, and it is OK to leave them to it, as long as one doesn't inflict physical damage on the other (although it sounds as if your aggressive on might be inflicting damage). If they are two males or a male and a female, then you might have to separate them, because one will continue to be aggressive and could eventually cause damage. This is especially true if you have a single male and a single female. Male tortoises are relentlessly aggressive towards females and will bite and ram their shells until the female is very stressed out or injured. We always recommend that if you have a male tortoise then you must have at least two female tortoises, so that one female can get some respite while the other is being pursued, plus lots of little hiding places for the female. Two males will also probably fight all of the time, but it is possible to keep two females together, once they establish dominance and settle down.

If your tortoises are at least four or five years old, we can probably tell you the sex, if you send us photos of their undersides, clearly showing the tail.

Nina

Mark
Posts: 4
Joined: 04 May 2021, 22:36

Re: Aggressive Hermanns

Post by Mark » 09 May 2021, 22:33

We believe they are both males. We adopted them from a rescue facility and owner thought the may be around 15-20 years old. We are taking them in for a preventive check up with local exotic vet in a couple weeks. Currently we have separated them and there new permanent habitat is large enough for us to place a divider wall to give both their own space. I will post pics soon. thanks again.

User avatar
Nina
Posts: 1493
Joined: 16 Mar 2017, 11:22

Re: Aggressive Hermanns

Post by Nina » 10 May 2021, 09:05

Thanks, Mark, we'll look forward to seeing the photos, and if one was actually inflicting damage on the other (rather than just harrassing him a bit) then you've done the right thing by separating them.

Nina

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest