Throughout the years of owning a tortoise some people tend to feel quite sympathetic towards them as they are usually alone in their enclosure. This gets compared to animals such as dogs that have a number of them all living in the same house enjoying each other’s company. What about tortoises however do they need the company of other tortoises? Let’s find out.
Do tortoises like company? No tortoises do not like company as they mainly live solitary lives. In the wild they only come together in order to breed then they go back to being by themselves. Also when a tortoise lays an egg by the time the tortoise grows up the mother is no longer around. However tortoises are still able to show affection similar to other animals.
In this article we are going to look further on why tortoises don’t need company, can tortoises be lonely among some other topics we thought were relevant.
Why Tortoises Don’t Like Company
Tortoises in the wild are very solitary animals, meaning they are usually left by themselves to eat, explore and sleep. The only time a tortoise will be around another in the wild is for reproductive purposes. After that they go their separate ways, similar to humans almost.
When tortoises are born the mother doesn’t stay around very long to raise or feed the newborn. This means biologically tortoises don’t have the requirement to be around others as it’s not something they experience right from birth.
Tortoises are also very dominant animals when it comes to their territory. What this means is if you have two tortoises in a small enclosure they will likely become aggressive with each other in order to try and take over the territory. We’ll discuss it more in the next paragraph.
Are Tortoises Better In Pairs?
Typically tortoises will be fine just on their own however if you want to get another tortoise for some company then there are some things you need to know.
First of all tortoises don’t need company as they are perfectly fine on their own, but if you just love tortoises that much you can get some more.
It’s not advised to keep two male tortoises in one enclosure as they will likely become aggressive with each other and end up fighting. This is because tortoises are very territorial animals so they will both try to display dominance in order to take over the environment.
You also shouldn’t keep a male and female together long term. It’s fine if you want to breed them but you shouldn’t keep them together for a long period of time.
If a male tortoise only has option to mate with one female then he will try and mate that often it would become dangerous for the females health.
Your best option of keeping tortoises together is either females only, or a ratio in which the females heavily outweigh the males.
In this case the males will have an abundance of mating partners to choose from, so the females won’t be harmed as the males have enough options.
If you do decide to keep a few tortoises together make sure they are of the same species as there are some harmful organisms present in some tortoise species that can harm another kind of tortoise. Also ensure that you have a large enough enclosure to cater for more than one tortoise.
When you get another tortoise it’s necessary to quarantine it for around 6 months as the existing tortoise won’t like to share food and their living space with a newcomer which will likely result in aggression.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do Tortoises Like Human Company?
It’s not certain if tortoises like human company or not as they can’t explicitly tell us, which I’m sure would be extremely heart warming to hear from our torts.
You may notice your tortoise perks up when they notice you however I have some bad news for you. This isn’t because they are excited to see you it’s because they have you mistaken.
Tortoises can’t show love like we as humans understand it however there a number of things they do to show us they are comfortable around us such as : following us around, letting us feed them by hand and allow us to handle them.
Your tortoise is more likely to appreciate your company if they’ve been around you your whole life.
Compare this to buying an already grown tortoise they will show signs of discomfort and stress for a long time while they adjust to you and their new living environment.
Can Tortoises Be Lonely?
No tortoises can’t be lonely. They don’t have a biological requirement for companionship as they spend most of their lives being solitary. Some people see tortoises by themselves and start to feel sorry for them – but you should refrain from putting human emotion onto your tortoise as they are completely happy to be alone.
Tortoises on the other hand can experience boredom which is usually caused by a small enclosure. They are avid explorers and if they can see all of their enclosure completely they may start to feel bored or stressed as they don’t need to explore because they can see everything inside their living space.
To prevent this use a lot of physical barriers within your tortoises enclosure to break up their line of sight. You can do this by adding safe plants, logs and other objects.
Do Tortoises Like Company – Summary
It’s not that tortoises don’t like company but from birth they never experience the feeling of having company therefore they don’t need it. In the wild tortoises forage alone and will come together for mating purposes but that’s about it.
It’s not advised to keep tortoises in pairs particularly 2 males or a male and a female. Tortoises are very protective of their environment therefore two males will likely fight over their enclosure. A male and a female is dangerous for the female as the male will become quite aggressive with her.
I hope you have found this article useful and you’re more knowledgeable about tortoises and their behavior!