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Pet Information: Greek Tortoise
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"Our Aphrodite (female Golden Greek) came from an online breeder. She arrived in the U.S. mail about 3 1/2 years ago, which was quite a treat! She is estimated to be about 8 or 9 years old now. She was as big as a dollar bill when we got her, but has grown at least 50% since then. A year ago, I took her to a vet who specialized (and owns) tortoises. My girl had an old injury which had encapsulated; it was a hard round spot between her head and front foot which the vet deftly popped out. No blood or guts, as it had completely healed underneath. He figured it was a scratch that got infected. The turtle wagged her head back and forth as he examined her, which he said was an escape instinct. He got the hard spot out, but not before she bit him, and hard. She has never shown any aggression to us then or since, and is quite friendly. She was raised by hand and this, I believe, makes a huge difference. She is very healthy otherwise, according to the vet. I don't spoil her, she gets romaine lettuce and dandelions from the lawn, occasional rose petals and some cucumber slices. I might give her some fruit, which she loves, or broccoli, but not frequently as it is not good for these tortoises. She does not want to drink water at all, she must be getting her moisture from the food. In spring until fall, she lived in a planter on the side of the house, indoors at night in a terrarium during winter or if the temperature drops too much (we live near the desert). Today I just moved her into a kiddie pool with low-dust clay kitty litter for a substrate, and a clay pot to hide in. She is curious but seems happy enough and it has given her more room. I have covered the pool with chicken wire, as we have owls and coyotes and I would be devastated if something happens to her. I am going to add some hay for a hiding place and a potted plant or two for shade. All in all, we enjoy having her, she is an interesting pet and not troublesome at all to maintain. We even take her for car rides to our lakeside property. She rides in a shoebox and sticks her head out of one end, where there's a hole cut out. It's quite comical. I would highly recommend these tortoises as pets, as long as people educate themselves ahead of time. They are little escape artists, so a secure enclosure is a must."

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