July 2019 – All about tortoises

Male and the larger female who came to visit us

David Bell has had an interest in tortoises since he was a boy. He came, along with his wife Pam to tell us all about them. His talk was absolutely fascinating.

David is a licensed breeder and has years of experience plus the knowledge required (obtained by undertaking an on-line course with the Tortoise Trust), to talk for hours about the husbandry of tortoises.

He undertakes rescue work for the Tortoise Trust and had many stories to tell us about his experiences.

He informed us of many things:

They have existed on our planet longer than dinosaurs! There are 400 different species and all except one are endangered. They have been lost in the past through lack of knowledge and care but with the correct care should live to 100-150 years. Laws were introduced to protect them and they can no longer be imported illegally. All tortoises have to be certificated when they are sold.

They are ruminants and different breeds require different kinds of food. They need large amounts of calcium and over 5 hours of sunlight per day. They lay eggs and the sex of the offspring is determined by the temperature at which the eggs are kept. They can dig and climb and the information relating to their hibernation was fascinating

It was an absolutely wonderful evening and we met 4 of David’s many tortoises. We could have listened for a lot longer and David could probably have continued to tell us stories and facts all evening.

It is easy to understand now why so many of us had tortoises as children who did not survive for very long!

These are 8 years old. They would have been the size of a 10p when they first hatched