Testudo (Agrionemys) horsfieldii (Russian tortoise)
vierteen1Origin: Southeast Asia
Length: up to 20 centimeters
Weight: up to 2, kilograms
Age: up to 70 years
The shield is fairly round in circumference and fairly flattened. The basic color of the shield is sandy brown with dark spots on it.

Care
Experience: Novice tortoise holder
Food: Vegetables, herbs, special tortoise food.
Adult feeding: daily
Feed young: Feed present at all times
Water basin: Yes
Change water: 3 times a week
Food
The Russian Four-toed Land Tortoise is an omnivore that still eats the most plants. In captivity, they can live on a diet of vegetables and herbs. A diet that can be given in captivity is, for example, endive, chicory and dandelion, supplemented with special tortoise food and calcium supplements (special powder or eggshells).
Because the vegetables do not perfectly match their natural diet, a vitamin preparation must be added once a week.

Make sure that the food is offered on a special feed dish. Namely, if it eats away from the ground cover, sand and earth will be added to the feed. This can lead to intestinal complaints and blockages. A light or non-sturdy food bowl will therefore be quickly pushed over. To help them with this behavior, the food can be offered in smaller pieces. But this is of course not necessary.

Water
Because the russian tortoise does not occur in the wettest of places, they do not need too much water. A small water bowl with a layer of water in it is enough. Don't give them a deep water bowl. They cannot swim well and can drown.

Cleaning
Like the herbivores they are, they also relieve as true herbivores. For this reason, it is advisable to remove the faeces from the accommodation on a daily basis and to remove the dirty soil cover once a week. In addition, it is wise to thoroughly clean the entire stay a few times a year, so you prevent the accumulation of germs and bacteria.

Handling
It may happen that you have to handle your tortoise and that has to be done correctly so that no injury or stress can be involved. Handle the tortoise by grabbing it from both sides on the center of the shield. You do this well if they are unable to scratch your hand with their legs. If this is the case the tortoise can deposit on your hand should have all the consequences. In addition, make sure you always wash your hands before handling and make sure you handle the tortoise with two hands.

Housing
Minimum size of stay for 1 couple: 150 * 80 * 40
Surface: 0.75 m2 per tortoise
Day temperature: 25-35C
Night temperature: 20-22C
Hours of light: 12 hours
Humidity level: 60 and 70%
Ground cover: coarse sand, clay sand or shredded wood
Enclosure
The Russian  needs a real steppe terrarium. This means that the terrarium is pretty bare with few plants. A visual barrier will have to be placed in the terrarium. This is to ensure that tortoises can get away from each other if there are conflicts. This can be done by placing a large piece of wood or fake plant in the middle of the accommodation.

Russian land tortoises need UV light to make vitamin D. You can give them this by using a UV lamp when they are kept indoors. If they are kept outside, the sunlight is sufficient.

Once it gets nice and warm outside, the tortoises can also be kept outside. An easy guideline is: when the temperature at night is above 20c degrees, the tortoises can stay outside, this is usually from April to September. This summer retreat has a few requirements that it must meet. It must have a shelter with a heat lamp in it. This ensures that they can still warm up on a colder day. The accommodation must also have shade and shelters. You can achieve this by placing some plants, but make sure that the plants are not toxic to the tortoise. The tortoise must not be able to escape from it, because of their climbing behavior, a fence of 50 cm is really needed. It must be last safe for dogs, cats and other predators.

Behaviour
Diet: Omnivorous with a tendency to herbs and vegetables.
Lifestyle: Testrial & daily activity
Character:They are interesting and active animals that can be busy, but need a lot of space to be kept well.
Points of attention Russian tortoises go into hibernation. In the wild they do this up to 9 months but in captivity it is advisable to let them go into hibernation for 8 weeks at a temperature of 4 to 7c. But it is not necessary; you as the owner will have to make that choice yourself.

Costs and Purchase
Legislation: The Russian tortoise falls under CITES II, to own this tortoise you need CITES or transfer papers. You should get this when purchasing.
One-off costs: This includes the costs for accommodation, lighting, heating, water bowl and decoration. This can together cost a few hundred euros to a few thousand euros. The final amount depends on the quality and size of the products.
Fixed costs: Fixed costs include the costs for the feed, this is several tens of euros per year.
Unexpected costs: Costs have been incurred if your tortoise accidentally falls ill or your equipment breaks down.

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