Tagging Tortoises

We call this one blue dot. . .

This summer has seen a tortoise population explosion in the garden. I’m not sure if  it’s due to all the indigenous vegetation we have planted, or if Bob is simply an exceptionally fecund reptile.

So far we’ve counted 7 babies, they all look identical so to avoid recounting we have tagged each one with a dot of poster paint. It will wash off after a few rains (and we could do with those), but in the meantime we can keep count and follow the critters movements around the property.

. . . and this one Mulberry.

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4 Responses to “Tagging Tortoises”


  1. 1 shoreacres January 9, 2010 at 9:54 pm

    What fun! I had the scary pleasure of rescuing three tortoises from our roads this year. When they decide it’s time to hibernate, it’s time to hibernate, by gosh, and something in that turtle brain says, “GO!” If the path happens to lead across a four lane road… well, some idiot woman had better be around to run into traffic on their behalf.

    Did I tell you earlier about the woman who heals turtles? The ones that get hit or bounced around and are otherwise ok get their shells fiberglassed back together. It’s wonderful.

    Do they go down to the lagoon, too, or are they primarily land creatures?

    • 2 Jeannine January 10, 2010 at 2:57 pm

      We have road signs in Sedgefield saying “Beware Tortoises”, as you say, they seem to have a death wish. Local drivers are always screeching to a halt and rescuing the daft reptiles. Of course, the minute you put them onto the side of the road they were heading to, they try to cross back to where they came from!

      Interesting about the healing woman. One of our tortoises has a big gash down his back. It doesn’t seem to impact at all on his ability to survive though. A fix would be purely cosmetic and that’s perhaps not a priority in tortoise land.

      I’ve never seen a tortoise near the lagoon. I don’t think these ones can swim at all, and there’s not much for them to eat on the sandbanks.

  2. 3 shoreacres January 13, 2010 at 3:29 am

    Did I leave you a link to the fellow in Wales who lives with the tortoise named Henry? Henry just came out of hibernation – you can see him here: http://justwilliams.wordpress.com/2010/01/12/henry-feeding/

    There are many Henry posts – they’re quite enjoyable!

    • 4 Jeannine January 14, 2010 at 9:03 am

      Thanks for the link Linda! Henry ain’t pretty but he sure is cute. Interesting how his ‘owner’ brings him out of hibernation – a tortoise having a bath! Better not let the boys see that.


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