There are a number of reasons as to why the Russian Tortoise (also known as Horsfield’s tortoise or Central Asian tortoise) is actually the most popular tortoise out there and why so many people decide to keep one or two. Although it’s not the same as petting a dog or a cat, Russian Tortoises are amazing creatures which can live up to half a century and make for good pets.
First off, you’ll have to realize that not all of them are going to be the same size depending on when they were born and they’ll usually be up to 8 inches long. Similar to other tortoises, the females can easily be distinguished from males by size as they’re larger.
If you’re planning on acquiring one you’ll have to make sure you can keep it in an environment where there aren’t that many poisonous plants around and an environment that provides an adequate amount of space for movement. There are a few things you should avoid giving your tortoise but here are some recommended dietary options:
- Just about all green weeds
- Green leafy vegetables the likes of spinach and kale
What’s interesting about this tortoise is that it’s actually abundant in terms of population and native to a lot of different environments that it’s managed to adjust to. A lot of tortoises/turtles are near extinction but Russian Tortoises are still doing well and can be found in a variety of mountainous and flat landscapes.
The main and basic requirement to providing a good life for a tortoise of this kind is to have access to a decent and safe habitat outdoors. This means that there aren’t that many predators that could eat it including cats and dogs and you should also keep in mind that if you allow it even partial access to leave it most likely well as Russian Tortoises can dig well and climb a lot. It’s important that you provide yours with a number of weeds and some shelter in addition to water.
The bottom line with Russian Tortoises is that they’re some of the friendliest tortoises and they’re nice to be around because they’re constantly active and interesting to watch. Although at first they might seem a bit scared of you, if you keep feeding them and provide them with a safe environment it’s not going to be long before they start recognizing you as the person who feeds them and they’ll actually rush towards you.
Keep in mind that these tortoises can harbor some parasites because they were living in the wilderness hence you should make sure to visit the vet as soon as you get yours for an initial checkup.