testudo horsefieldii


Trying to lure Pebble out of his hide in the morning is a struggle. It’s a season he’d be hibernating in the wild, but I’m not going to let him do that.


  1. He’s freshly recovering from an infection and doesn’t have the necessary resources stored up to hibernate.
  2. Matching the exact hibernation conditions as they would be in the wild for Pebble is fairly complex in a residence, and even next year when he’s all healthy and strong I will not risk it. I’m sure someone has successfully built hibernation chambers, but I don’t have one.YMMV, but my vet also agrees it’s better for me to overwinter Pebble than to let him hibernate.

PSA: Congratulations are in order. It’s official, I’m getting a new addition to our reptile family: a Russian tortoise (testudo horsefieldii)!

So excited!

I’ll be picking them up from the rescue next week, and in the meantime I’m getting everything ready for the new chelonian friend: 

  • a secure heated pen with a run, completely enclosed with fine wire mesh, to make sure the tort can be safe from the predators;
  • a movable grazing corral where the tortie will be spending most of the days grazing;
  • shallow water dish for soaking/drinking and a small water dish for drinking;
  • digging substrate for the pen;
  • and lots and lots of love!