Day 2: Little Turtle, Big Turtle

You just never know when you are going to wake up and discover you are bigger. For example, let’s say all of your life you have been a little tortoise. But then one day, the sun comes up and suddenly you notice you are not so little anymore. Unfortunately, it seems you are the onlyContinue reading “Day 2: Little Turtle, Big Turtle”

Malti Explains Redfooted Tortoises: Tortoise Tunnels

Often when someone meets Malti for the first time, their biggest curiosity is about her personality. Is she friendly? Does she know me? Does she like to play? Does she bite? From my limited experience with pet tortoises, I can say the answers to these questions (as best I can tell) are yes, yes, yesContinue reading “Malti Explains Redfooted Tortoises: Tortoise Tunnels”

Malti Explains Redfooted Tortoises: Handling

Malti is the first tortoise (land turtle) I’ve ever cared for. I did keep (well, technically my mom kept) five water tortoises – all sliders of some sort – when I was a girl. I bonded with one of them, but I never handled them except when we were cleaning their tank. So I reallyContinue reading “Malti Explains Redfooted Tortoises: Handling”

Malti Explains Redfooted Tortoises: Recognition

I get a lot of questions about whether Malti knows who I am. Sometimes the question is more about whether Malti can recognize faces – mine or others. But then sometimes the question seems more about whether she knows me – as her carer, as someone significant, as someone she perhaps even likes or prefers.Continue reading “Malti Explains Redfooted Tortoises: Recognition”

Malti Explains Redfoot Tortoises: Soaking, Part 2

If you’ve been following Malti’s adventures here for awhile, you may remember this post about tortoise soaking. In that post, I shared a photo of Malti soaking in her big red plastic bathtub. The photo was taken at the start of 2018 when the red bathtub still looked big. Now fast forward to the endContinue reading “Malti Explains Redfoot Tortoises: Soaking, Part 2”

Malti Explains Redfoot Tortoises: Hide n Seek

Tortoises like playing games just as much as any other pet. Malti loves games – the scarier the better. For example, let’s say you feel like playing a rousing round of the super-frightening game “hide n seek.” You scour the area and discover an intriguing soft tunnel that is perfectly tortoise-sized. You crawl in…and keepContinue reading “Malti Explains Redfoot Tortoises: Hide n Seek”

Malti Explains Redfoot Tortoises: Moss

When Malti was just a teensy tort (which seems like forever ago but was really only a scant handful of double-digit months), her favorite hobby was hiding. She liked hiding even more than she liked eating, which is frankly hard to believe now. Her favorite hiding place was anywhere there was a big pile ofContinue reading “Malti Explains Redfoot Tortoises: Moss”

Malti Explains Redfoot Tortoises: Smarts

One thing I’ve learned daily since bringing Malti home almost four and a half years ago is that she has endless curiosity. Redfoot tortoises are really smart! I know this from my own firsthand experiences with Malti, and I also know this because the science people say it is so. My girl can do everythingContinue reading “Malti Explains Redfoot Tortoises: Smarts”

Malti Explains Redfoot Tortoises: Weigh-Ins

When you are caring for a young tortoise of Malti’s size, it is safe to say weigh-ins are always a, um, big event. But no matter how often other people exclaim, “Wow, she’s gotten so BIG!” or you look at her and (almost) hyperventilate while imagining how big she has yet to become, it isContinue reading “Malti Explains Redfoot Tortoises: Weigh-Ins”

Malti Explains Redfoot Tortoises: Hiking

Most beings, when they are little, will explore their world with their mouths. While Malti is no longer precisely “little,” she certainly is still young at only four years old, and her go-to exploration method is still to try to bite whatever it is she is interested in. To date, I’ve seen her try toContinue reading “Malti Explains Redfoot Tortoises: Hiking”

Malti Explains Redfoot Tortoises: Biting

When Malti was a tiny tort, she had trouble even opening her mouth wide enough to chomp down on a lettuce leaf or carrot shaving. It was at the same time really cute and really nerve-wracking to watch her eating. Sometimes it felt like she couldn’t quite figure out how to move her head andContinue reading “Malti Explains Redfoot Tortoises: Biting”

Malti Explains Redfoot Tortoises: Grass

In Malti’s last post here, we talked about her lukewarm interest in the food that should be her main dietary staple – dark leafy greens. But truthfully, that all changes once Malti is out on the lawn, or really in any place where the greenery is designed to be decorative more than edible. Take ryeContinue reading “Malti Explains Redfoot Tortoises: Grass”

Malti Explains Redfoot Tortoises: First Earthworm!

It’s never been any secret that Bruce, our little flock’s rescued box turtle member, is an avid hunter. Which makes sense, considering that when our paths first crossed, he was foraging for his dinner in the suburban “wild” and was very, very hungry. Malti, on the other hand…..this little princess has never missed a meal.Continue reading “Malti Explains Redfoot Tortoises: First Earthworm!”

Malti Explains Redfoot Tortoises: Arugula

If it is possible for a tortoise to be a foodie, then Malti is a foodie. She really loves to eat. During the rare moments when she’s gotten her beak on some “people” food, she has reliably gobbled down as much of it as she could before her mama was able to extract it. NotContinue reading “Malti Explains Redfoot Tortoises: Arugula”

Malti Explains Redfoot Tortoises: Alligator

In every household, there is one place where every family member always wants to sit. This is because it is the comfiest, of course. It is also the coziest and the safest and the most fun. And because everyone wants to sit there, whoever gets to it first is kind of like “king of theContinue reading “Malti Explains Redfoot Tortoises: Alligator”

Malti Explains Redfoot Tortoises: Begging

When I first brought Malti home, she was still so wild! At times she seemed nearly feral, looking at me suspiciously out of those tiny intense black eyes. And then she started to grow up. She began to put two and two together on multiple levels. Specifically, she started to catch on that the large,Continue reading “Malti Explains Redfoot Tortoises: Begging”

Malti Explains Redfoot Tortoises: Bathing

If you’ve been following along with our little flock’s adventures for some time now, you probably remember that pivotal moment in May 2014 (four years ago now – wow!) when Malti first joined our family. She was so little! She bathed in a tupperware lid at first, and then “graduated” to a teensy tiny tortContinue reading “Malti Explains Redfoot Tortoises: Bathing”

Malti Explains Redfoot Tortoises: Napping

When I first met Malti, she was sitting calmly in the center of a small plastic container. Her younger brother, another redfoot tortoise, was busily running circles around her inside the container. When given the choice between the two, I selected Malti – something just told me she was the one and I went withContinue reading “Malti Explains Redfoot Tortoises: Napping”


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