Who caught on to our little (for now) secret? We've had a pair of new pets since November 14th! Koopa and Zamboni are cherry head red footed tortoises. My fiance and I have discussed getting this kind of tortoise off and on for a couple of years now, so I wouldn't say we got them on an impulse, but we were originally going to wait until after we move to get anymore pets. I'm pretty sure that was two aquariums and now two tortoises ago. Oops.
Koopa and Zam are from a breeder local to us who was looking for a good home for these two because they had some medical issues. Their issues were treatable, however the breeder also had lots of healthy baby tortoises to care for and didn't feel she had the time to give these two the extra individualized attention they needed.
Both Koopa and Zam have been treated for minor respiratory infections and Zamboni was also treated for a shell fungus. They are now both off of medication and doing very well!
If you're extra perceptive you may have caught glimpses of Koopa and Zam over the last two months. Although this is the first time I'm officially posting about them, they have made brief appearances on our various social media pages. I wanted to wait until the little ones were all healed up and healthy again before making their official introduction post.
Never having tortoises before, I thought they might be a bit difficult to tell apart. Luckily that hasn't been the case. Their shell shapes are not exactly the same and neither are their colors, or personalities!
Koopa is currently the smaller of the two. His shell is more rounded and also more yellow. Koopa started out being very very shy. He would hiss and pull his head into his shell whenever he saw me, but he's gotten a lot friendlier in just the past two months. He doesn't hiss at me much anymore and will take food out of my hand.
Zamboni's shell is darker than Koopa's, black with almost an orange color compared to Koopa's black and yellow. Her shell isn't quite as rounded and the red coloration on her head and legs is a bit more vibrant.
Zamboni was also more outgoing right from the start. She enjoys a good head rub and almost always comes over to see me and beg for food.
I've been referring to Koopa as a 'he' and Zamboni as a 'she' but I'm actually not sure of their sexes yet. I was told that Zamboni was incubated as a female (sometimes incubating reptile eggs at certain temperatures can cause a higher percentage of the babies to be a certain sex) but that isn't always a sure thing. Koopa and Zamboni are still too young/small to know their sexes for sure.
For now the little ones are living in an open top terrarium indoors but we're planning on building them a larger enclosure probably this summer. Once they grown larger we're also planning on building them an outdoor enclosure that they can live in during the warmer months of the year. We provide them with heating and lighting indoors but being able to be out in the natural sunlight for at least part of the year should do them some good.
I'm planning on posting Koopa and Zam updates often for anyone who wants to watch them grow with us. You can also look forward to care articles for anyone interested in seeing what goes into taking care of tortoises as pets, so stay tuned!