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Malti Explains Redfoot Tortoises: Groceries

Redfoot tortoises are very smart. Not only can they go head-to-head on touch screen computer tests with dogs, rats, mice, chimps, black bears and other warm-blooded species, but they can solve mazes with the right motivation (which is always treats, of course). If I ever forget this, all I have to do is wait until … Continue reading Malti Explains Redfoot Tortoises: Groceries

Malti Explains Redfoot Tortoises: Cloaking Device

Even when Malti was 4 weeks old and the size of my palm, she already had the most gorgeous coloring. Her orange and red dots covered her lower face, chin, neck, all four legs and feet and her little tail. As she gets bigger, so do her dots. Her colors seem to change every day! … Continue reading Malti Explains Redfoot Tortoises: Cloaking Device

Malti Explains Redfoot Tortoises: Young, Small and Delicious

In South American where Malti's species hails from, red footed tortoises are considered a...um...delicacy. "Tortoise pie" is said to be a particular favorite on festive occasions. When Malti first joined our little flock, she hid CONSTANTLY. And she was the size of a silver dollar, and her mama had packed her habitat with plenty of … Continue reading Malti Explains Redfoot Tortoises: Young, Small and Delicious

Malti Explains Redfoot Tortoises: Eyesight

Malti's eyes often look black, especially when she is sitting in the sun. It took a long time to realize her eyes are actually brown! But it didn't take me nearly so long to learn that her eyes work really well. For example, she can see in the ultraviolet light spectrum, just like her parrot … Continue reading Malti Explains Redfoot Tortoises: Eyesight

Tuesday Gratefuls: Pearl & Shannon Share

With all the anger, hate and fighting in the world today, every teensy tidbit of love really counts! After all, learning to get along doesn't start at a top-down level. It starts at the bottom up. Sometimes at first a new being may come into your life and you're not so thrilled about it. Maybe … Continue reading Tuesday Gratefuls: Pearl & Shannon Share

Malti Explains Redfoot Tortoises: Repurposing

I grew up with parrots. They are small and quick and LOUD. I also cared for a group of rescued water turtles as a child - they weren't loud, but they were also small and quick. Malti is just the opposite. Malti is large and slow and very, very quiet. Or, she is quiet when … Continue reading Malti Explains Redfoot Tortoises: Repurposing

Malti Explains Redfoot Tortoises: Basking

Malti hails from South America. Redfooted tortoises are native to the country, and they can be found in diverse habitats, including grasslands and deep, lush forests. The forest redfoots don't see a lot of direct sunshine. This is both because they are under so much greenery, from giant trees to bushes and ground-hugging vegetation, and … Continue reading Malti Explains Redfoot Tortoises: Basking

Malti Explains Redfoot Tortoises: New Things

I can't remember where I read it, but early on in my journey to learn how to become a tortoise mama, I read somewhere that tortoises don't like it when you change their environment. Unfortunately, I moved a lot the first couple of years Malti was with me (she is turning three and a half … Continue reading Malti Explains Redfoot Tortoises: New Things

Malti Explains Redfoot Tortoises: Furred Beings

Here at Casa Feathers n Beak n Shells, we have always had quite a diverse little flock. There is Pearl, of course, our 18-year-old "alpha" flock leader. Then there is Malti, and Bruce, of course. And then there is Flash Gordon, our two-year-old standard wire-haired dachshund. There is me, the large featherless, shell-less assistant. And … Continue reading Malti Explains Redfoot Tortoises: Furred Beings

Malti Explains Redfoot Tortoises: Interior Design

As mama and official "enrichment coordinator" to two small shells, I take habitat decor quite seriously indeed. This past winter, both Malti's and Bruce's habitats were completely wiped out. Between the rain and the snow (sleet really, but still) and the freezes, each habitat was a total mud ball by the time some warmer days … Continue reading Malti Explains Redfoot Tortoises: Interior Design

Malti Explains Redfoot Tortoises: Going IN

I've shared in previous posts here how Malti has a thing for fences. If she sees a fence, she wants to go OUT. From the time she was a tiny tort (something she definitely isn't anymore!), she has had a "zero tolerance" policy for confinement. Even if the fence is totally open-ended - like more … Continue reading Malti Explains Redfoot Tortoises: Going IN

Malti Explains Redfoot Tortoises: Treats

It took me awhile to figure out that Malti didn't find everything equally tasty. Pretty much from day one she was what tortoise breeders like to call an "enthusiastic eater." Tortoises in the wild are opportunistic feeders, which means they will eat - overeat even - when they find something really good. This is because … Continue reading Malti Explains Redfoot Tortoises: Treats

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