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 Post subject: Pics of some critters, just because it's been a while
PostPosted: September 13th, 2015, 5:46 am 
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Joined: June 8th, 2010, 3:02 am
Posts: 878
It's been a while since I have posted any photos here in the Captive Bred Forum, so I figured I would put up some pics of a few of my critters I've taken recently.

First, are some pics of the sulcatas out in the yard. The male is a light sleeper, and I was quite pleased to be able to sneak up on him and get these pics of him in his sleeping pallet.
Imagemkondo by B Boone, on Flickr

Imagemkondo2 by B Boone, on Flickr

He did wake up though, but surprisingly, just watched me. Normally, when they see me they come running, looking for food.
Imagemkondo3 by B Boone, on Flickr

I love how he blends in with the rocks in the yard.
Imagemkondo5 by B Boone, on Flickr

Here is the female, hanging out in the shaded portion of their yard.
Imagemzee by B Boone, on Flickr

Imagemzee1 by B Boone, on Flickr

From big to small: here are a couple of star tortoises.
Imagegeo ele male by B Boone, on Flickr

Imagegeo ele1 by B Boone, on Flickr

I also keep a variety of snakes. Here are some who have not had their fifteen minutes of fame on the forum yet.
Imagecoppahead pale by B Boone, on Flickr

Imagecro hor atr fem by B Boone, on Flickr

Imagecro hor atr mal by B Boone, on Flickr

Imagepit mel mel by B Boone, on Flickr

Imagener fas by B Boone, on Flickr

(I am permitted by the state of Georgia to keep native snakes and turtles. All of these animals are used as teaching tools in my environmental education programs)

Imagediamond male by B Boone, on Flickr

Imagepyt ret female by B Boone, on Flickr

Imagepyt ret male by B Boone, on Flickr

Hope you enjoyed! Thanks for looking.

--Berkeley


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 Post subject: Re: Pics of some critters, just because it's been a while
PostPosted: September 13th, 2015, 9:46 am 
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Joined: October 18th, 2011, 12:03 pm
Posts: 4142
Location: San Francisco, California
'..dappled and drowsy and ready for sleep,

let the morning time drop all its petals on me

Life I love you

All Is Groovy.'


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 Post subject: Re: Pics of some critters, just because it's been a while
PostPosted: September 13th, 2015, 12:36 pm 
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Joined: May 18th, 2015, 4:35 pm
Posts: 33
Location: Charleston, South Carolina
Beautiful animals!


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 Post subject: Re: Pics of some critters, just because it's been a while
PostPosted: September 13th, 2015, 4:27 pm 

Joined: June 17th, 2010, 4:51 am
Posts: 362
Location: CT
jack4rogers wrote:
Beautiful animals!


I agree wholeheartedly!!

How long do you keep the stars outside? Edit: I guess what I am really asking is what kind of environmental conditions do you keep them outside during? What are the temp extremes and does the Georgia( I think that's where you are) humidity negatively effect them?

I would love to see a full body shot of your diamond python.


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 Post subject: Re: Pics of some critters, just because it's been a while
PostPosted: September 14th, 2015, 3:20 am 
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Joined: June 8th, 2010, 3:02 am
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Good song, Kelly! Very appropriate!

Thank you, Jack4Rogers and Kfen.

Kfen, yep, you are correct- I reside in Georgia. The stars (and most of my tortoises) are outside from generally the first week of April to the last week of September. My temperature thresholds are about 60 degrees at night to move them out in the spring, and then once the nighttime temps start dropping below 50 consistently in the fall is when I bring them in. Once they are out for the season, they are out. The only time I have brought them back in during the summer season was last year when we had a long cool and wet spell (~a week, rain and highs in the 60's....in June!). I have found them to be quite tough and nowhere near as delicate as others have claimed. The humidity does them well actually, and it seems to help with the nice smooth shell growth.

I'll have to see about getting a picture or two of the full diamond package for you!

I hope those thoughts on the star tortoises are helpful.
--Berkeley


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 Post subject: Re: Pics of some critters, just because it's been a while
PostPosted: September 14th, 2015, 8:15 am 

Joined: March 30th, 2014, 12:16 pm
Posts: 566
Location: Okaloosa ca, Fla.
I'm curious, do your sulcatas dig burrows or do they not? If they do, has that ever caused you any issues? One of my boss's sulcatas would dig burrows that would collapse during heavy rains. It got to the point where he used a cut culvert pipe into the ground to hold the shape of his sulcata's burrow during heavy rains.


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 Post subject: Re: Pics of some critters, just because it's been a while
PostPosted: September 14th, 2015, 10:26 am 
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Joined: June 7th, 2010, 4:26 am
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Location: Illinois
I really want to keep Sulcatas but won't until I'm prepared for them year round. I fostered one recently while it was warm enough out, but I don't have winter storage/space. I'm so sad I don't have that Sulcata now.


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 Post subject: Re: Pics of some critters, just because it's been a while
PostPosted: September 14th, 2015, 5:06 pm 
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Joined: June 8th, 2010, 3:02 am
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Nick,
These two love to burrow. Actually, the female does it more, and the male just uses one of them. I had a second male (sibling to the big guy I still have) and he didn't dig either. Those two boys would rather just scrape out a pallet under a shrub and stay there.
There is only one issue that their digging has had- flooding. Not so much that they caused it, but that because we have this ridiculously thick Georgia clay up here, the burrows hold water and fill up when it rains (fortunately, it really only happens when we get more than about two inches at a time). The ground here is so dense, I walk across the roof of the burrows and have no thought of it collapsing. I'd actually thought about using culvert pipe as shelters for them, but never found any. So I just let them dig.
I've got some pics of the burrows so you can see what I mean, but they are on an external hard drive at work, so I'll see about posting them tomorrow.

Justin,
Good on ya for waiting til you are all set. As you know, you've got to 'mean it' when you keep this species. They don't hibernate, and they are freaking eating machines (anybody notice any grass in those pics with the sulcatas? I'll save you from having to scroll back through.... there isn't any! And they have a whole yard!) They are a lot of fun to work with and to keep, but yes, you've got to have winter quarters for them! They really are pretty neat though. My group was quite popular when I took them to presentations, but I have 'retired' them now that they are 65 lbs each, and don't fit into any of my boxes anymore.

Thanks for the comments!
--Berkeley


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 Post subject: Re: Pics of some critters, just because it's been a while
PostPosted: September 15th, 2015, 5:02 am 
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Joined: June 7th, 2010, 4:26 am
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Location: Illinois
Berkeley,

I had no idea how much they ate until I saw it! That girl I was fostering ate all our squash plants, a watermelon plant and mowed my yard for a while. She was found in the woods at a local park. I took her to a reptile vet for an evaluation she was given a clean bill of health and a microchip. Then they contacted a tortoise rescue to give her a forever home. I do miss her now.

Below is a pic of her.

https://goo.gl/photos/bnhyVyawqp97EdvBA


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 Post subject: Re: Pics of some critters, just because it's been a while
PostPosted: September 15th, 2015, 11:23 am 
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Joined: October 18th, 2011, 12:03 pm
Posts: 4142
Location: San Francisco, California
:thumb:

Its really a great thing to see lucky Sulcatas.

I hope you get another, one is out there somewhere, like a patient star. Its awesome to think about.


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 Post subject: Re: Pics of some critters, just because it's been a while
PostPosted: September 15th, 2015, 3:48 pm 
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Joined: June 8th, 2010, 3:02 am
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Here are some pics of the burrows. They go down between 8-10 feet, and both curve hard (one to the left, one to the right)

Imagefeed me by B Boone, on Flickr

Imagewaiting by B Boone, on Flickr

Imagehelms deep by B Boone, on Flickr

Justin,
ha ha! I'm sorry you lost your squash and watermelon! But at least she made up for it by mowing the grass! I take mine out into the backyard periodically and let them graze in my daughter's play area. They eat as much as they can grab without moving their bodies, and then just slowly spin in circles until they have eaten everything they can by stretching their necks. Then they will move a few feet and start over. It looks a lot like crop circles when they are done! :D

And Kelly is correct- one will make its way to you again. All three of mine were rescues- the female came from a vet, and the two boys were found wandering on a local golf course and brought to me.

--Berkeley


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 Post subject: Re: Pics of some critters, just because it's been a while
PostPosted: September 16th, 2015, 12:37 pm 
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Joined: June 7th, 2010, 4:26 am
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Location: Illinois
Berkeley,

Are they really such prolific burrowers? Do you start the burrow for them? Are you able to keep them out all year long?


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 Post subject: Re: Pics of some critters, just because it's been a while
PostPosted: September 17th, 2015, 4:12 am 
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justinm wrote:
Berkeley,

Are they really such prolific burrowers? Do you start the burrow for them? Are you able to keep them out all year long?


They are not as prolific of burrowers as I had heard them to be (before getting my own). For a while, none of them dug- I gave them dog crates as hides (because they still fit in them) and they seemed perfectly fine with that. Once they started bumping the sides of the crates as they went in and out, that was when they started to dig.

I did not start any of the burrows for them. The first one the female dug (the second picture in the burrow photos) she started in a spot that was kind of protected by some small saplings and a grass clump or two. The other burrow she dug was on the opposite side of the yard, and completely out in the open. Seemingly no real rhyme or reason to its placement.

I would love to keep them outside year round, but our temps don't allow it. We get into the 20's periodically, and the last two winters we have gotten down to 5 for a couple of nights. As it is now, I keep them out until usually the last week of September or so, and they go back out around the first week of April. More time outside would be great, but I'll take what I get!

--B


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 Post subject: Re: Pics of some critters, just because it's been a while
PostPosted: September 17th, 2015, 11:08 am 
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Joined: July 28th, 2013, 6:56 am
Posts: 80
Nice to see your animals are thriving. I have a question. If the tortoises are in the burrows because it gets cool, and the burrows are 8' deep, how do you retrieve them to bring them in?


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 Post subject: Re: Pics of some critters, just because it's been a while
PostPosted: September 17th, 2015, 5:48 pm 
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Thanks Mike! Yes, they are doing pretty well.

Good question! It's not as bad as you may think. Since the night time lows only hit 50 or so, the daytimes still can warm up to 70, 75. The tortoises are out walking around, sunning, grazing. So if I know a cold night is coming, I just run home during lunch and grab them while they are out and about, then take them inside the barn. There are a couple of times I haven't been able to get them before they tuck in for the night and a 40's night is coming, so I just cover the burrow opening with some towels to insulate them and then grab them the next day when they come up.

One night of chill is no problem for a healthy animal, particularly if they can warm up to optimal again the next day.

--Berkeley


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 Post subject: Re: Pics of some critters, just because it's been a while
PostPosted: February 9th, 2016, 3:41 pm 
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Joined: January 1st, 2012, 7:14 am
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Location: Pike County KY
Fine looking animals! Man that Diamond is a stunner! I have had those on the radar for quite some time.


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 Post subject: Re: Pics of some critters, just because it's been a while
PostPosted: February 10th, 2016, 5:19 am 
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Thanks man, I appreciate it. I still need to put up some pics of the whole body of those diamonds like I promised Kfen a while ago! Keep an eye out....

I may be breeding the pair this year. I'm still trying to decide if the female is ready (big enough), so that means I will probably wait. We'll see once I pull them out of brumation though. I'll keep you updated.

--Berkeley


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