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This page is intended to address the common questions we are asked via e-mail or phone. If you have a question related to shipping or the guarantee, please check the appropriate tabs above, as the answer is very likely there.
– How do I take care of a tortoise?
This is a topic that is simply too long to answer in an e-mail or a phone conversation, and is really dependent on the species you’re looking for, your climate and size allowance, and many other factors. We have some care sheets and articles on the “Articles” page, and more will be added on a regular basis.
– What sex is the tortoise I just bought?
When selling a baby tortoise, we don’t know what the sexes are. We incubate most species at a warmer temperature which tends to lean them towards being a female, but it’s not absolute and not guaranteed. If we know the sexes of a given group of tortoises, the site will allow you (force you) to choose a sex during the checkout process. Contrary to what some other people say, there is no accurate way to sex baby tortoises. The differences between the sexes of tortoises (longer tail in males, concave belly in males, etc) don’t start showing until a tortoise is nearing maturity.
– Can I choose my tortoise from a series of photos?
We no longer provide photos of the actual available tortoises prior to a purchase. As often as we are asked for photos, it would take us several hours each week keeping up with these requests, and many people don’t end up buying anyways (just curious lookers). Because of this, we are no longer able to keep separating tortoises and waiting for answers from people that haven’t even paid yet. If you want to request the lightest, darkest etc, we will send you just that. The photos on the site are very accurate representations of what to expect your tortoise to look like. When time allows, we will provide photos after the purchase has been made, but understand that this may add a day or two to your expected shipment date (by the time the e-mails happen back and fourth, etc).
– Do you have a retail storefront or a facility I can come visit?
Unfortunately, we do not. We raise all our tortoises in private locations, and in order to maintain the security of our collection, we do not allow customers to come over and see/pick out their tortoises. To allow customers to come over and “get a tour” would be opening ourselves up for bigger risks than we want to take.
– Do you still have this particular tortoise in stock?
Our website keeps a rolling inventory of what we have available at all times. It will not allow you to buy something that we don’t have. If you attempt to buy 4 hermanns tortoises, and it only lets you buy 3, it means we only have 3 remaining in stock. We keep this inventory only on perfect, healthy tortoises that are available for immediate shipping.
– What type of tortoise should I get?
This will all depend on what you’re looking to do, and the amount of space your are able to offer it. If the long term plan is to keep it indoors, you are very limited on the options because of the sizes that most tortoises eventually get to; it’s just not reasonable to keep them indoors. The smallest tortoises are mostly the different types of Testudo (Russians, Hermanns, Greeks), with a few others being smaller also (Indian Stars, cherryheads, pancakes or others). All species do much better if they are able to be outdoors for even a part of the year. In the Southern, warmer states, the options are much more open since the tortoise can be outdoors most or even all of the year. Northern climates generally mean the tortoises will spend much of the year indoors, so the size is again a big determining factor. We have average adult sizes listed on each species on this site, so you can get a general idea what to expect. We just added a great species selection sheet that can be found at this link (click here).
– How much will shipping cost?
Our website now calculates shipping automatically once you enter your order as well as a shipping address. If the order contains a live tortoise, it will force overnight shipping on the order. The rates change every year, but as of early 2020, the tortoise-only orders have been running around $25-35 range which is by far the cheapest overnight shipping rates that we know of in the industry. We have made some good contacts in the shipping world and gotten our rate way down, about half of what our competitors charge for the same service. Supply orders (non-live) will have a few different options offered depending on how quickly you need to receive the order. Almost everything we sell ships from us in Las Vegas, Nevada, so a West coast order will be slightly cheaper to ship than an East coast order. You can also just add items to the cart, and then while viewing the cart, there’s a “calculate shipping” button you can use to get an idea on shipping. See the Shipping Info page for more information about shipping.