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How Long Do Tortoises Hibernate For?

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Rajesh Shri answered
Most species of tortoises especially the ones living in tropical environments do not hibernate at all. Hibernation is a time during which many of the life processes of the tortoise like digestion slow down to the point of almost shutting down. Tortoises that live in cooler and extreme climes do hibernate in the wild in the winter season.

The Texas or desert tortoise is known to hibernate for a period of six months commencing usually by the mid of October to March or April. Some species of tortoises that are kept in enclosures with heating and lighting facilities do not hibernate in the winter months. The hibernation period will also depend on the overall health of the tortoise whether it was sick in the period before hibernation and the amount of nutrients stored in the body.

In any case a tortoise if it appears to waken during winter and is active and feeding it should not be forced to hibernate but if it appears sluggish then it could be encouraged to hibernate again; also if the tortoise does not come out of hibernation by April one should check its condition.

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