When you get a pet, it is your responsibility to take good care of them and protect them from harm. Building an enclosure is not enough to keep your tortoises safe. Tortoises can be targeted by various animals like racoons, foxes, birds, and even domestic pets. So, you must build a predator-proof enclosure, especially if it is outdoors.
You can predator-proof your tortoise enclosure in different ways. Apart from building walls deep in the ground, you can install various equipment and devices, such as electric fencing, motion sensors, nite guard, traps, and cameras.
In this article, I will talk about how to predator-proof tortoise enclosure. You may not need to use all the methods. Instead, choose protective methods you feel are necessary according to your needs and budget.
Which Predators Can Harm Tortoise Enclosure?
Before learning how to protect the tortoise enclosure, you should know what animals can harm your tortoises. You may think your tortoise is out of danger since they are not living in the wild. But you are wrong. Some predators can still track them back to your house or yard.
Here are some of the top predators you should know:
Fox and Other Canines
Foxes and other canines, like coyotes, have a wide range of food preferences. They not only feed on small creatures but also on animals bigger than them. Hence, tortoises are also on their list of preferable food. These canines have a strong sense of smell. So, they can easily know where you keep your tortoises.
Fox and coyotes have sharp teeth, which they can use to break the shell of your tortoises. Even large-size adult tortoises are not safe from them. Canines are intelligent. They can attack tortoises without breaking the hard shell.
If you live in an area where racoons are available, be extra careful about keeping tortoises. These sneaky thieves do not stop at attacking tortoises in outdoor enclosures. They can also enter your house and still your small tortoises.
Not only racoons, skunks and opossums can also climb over the wall of the enclosure at night and eat your baby tortoises. So, preventive measures against these animals are a must to protect tortoises.
Some snakes can eat small size tortoises. However, snakes avoid eating tortoises if they can. The shells of tortoises are really hard to digest, and the edges can cut the snakes. Unfortunately, tortoise eggs are not as hard. So, they become ideal food for snakes.
Have you seen eagles, hawks, owls, ravens or vultures in your area? These birds can be dangerous for your tortoises. They can spot their prey from a distance and attack in a blink of an eye.
Small size tortoises can be easily picked up by these predatory birds. They can pick in the holes of the tortoise shell. They even throw the tortoise from a height to break open the shells.
It may be shocking, but yes, rats can eat the limbs of your tortoises! Tortoises are docile reptiles. They are slow movers. As a result, rats find it easy to eat them. Rats have sharp teeth and are fast. Thus, tortoises, especially the small ones, are vulnerable to rat attacks.
Your pet dog can also be a threat to your tortoise. Dogs rarely eat tortoises. But they might attempt to play with the tortoises, mistaking the tortoise shell as a toy. Many owners train their dogs to protect tortoises and drive away predators. But it is still advised to keep an eye on your dog when it is near the tortoise enclosure.
Yes, careless people and thieves can harm your tortoises. Children who do not know how to hold a tortoise can harm the tortoise by accidentally pulling on their limbs or dropping them.
You may have some rare tortoise under your care. These tortoises are valuable in the market. Hence, thieves may steal your precious tortoise from your enclosure and sell them on the black market.
How Do I Protect My Tortoise from Predators?
Now that you have learned about the threats, you should know how to protect your tortoise. Here is a list of equipment and devices you can use to make your tortoise enclosure predator-proof:
One of the most effective ways to protect your tortoise enclosure is installing an electric fence charging. These electric chargers are available in powers that can cover 10 to 50 miles of range.
You can buy an AC-powered unit or buy a solar-powered unit. The chargers produce a powerful shock, which can be painful. If you do not want to kill other animals, you can keep the electric charger power at a level that will not hurt the animals much, but only scare them.
If you have children at home, warn them about the electric fence. You can turn on the electric charge at sunset and turn it off in the morning.
If you are looking for an electric charger, you can get the Zareba EAC25M-Z AC Powered Low Impedance Electric Fence Charger. Zareba has become one of the most trusted brands for agricultural fence charging. The charger comes in different power levels and ranges. So, you can choose one according to the size of your tortoise enclosure.
Perfect Wooden Tortoise House For Outdoor & Indoor!
To tell you the truth, I am not any good with wood working. So, making a house for my tortoise & box turtles myself was out of question. I was always on the lookout for a decent tortoise house at a cheap price.
Thanks to Aivituvin, I’ve found the perfect tortoise house that can be set up both in indoor and outdoor. Here’s why this wooden tortoise house rocks:
- The house is made of 100% real Solid Wood. So there is no chance of rotting due to excessive moisture or tortoise waste.
- You can monitor the tortoise both from the front and the top. The top has a meshed part for easy air circulation. So, temperature and humidity won’t sky rocket inside the house.
- Private sleeping area, public viewing area
- Dimension: 38.1″(L) x 22.4″(W) x 13.1″(H)
To put simply, I haven’t found any tortoise house better than this one in the market at this lucrative price range. Adding cherry to the top, the shipping is absolutely free!
So why wait? Check out the current price here on Aivituvin!
Ultrasonic Motion Sensor
Motion sensors are another useful device to protect your indoor or outdoor tortoise enclosure. By installing a motion sensor in and around your tortoise enclosure, you can know whenever an intruder sneaks in.
You can get a motion sensor that sends you an alert notification on your mobile phone whenever it detects unwanted movement in the enclosure. You can also connect it with a flashing light or loud alarm. This way, the predator will get scared and run off whenever the motion detectors detect them.
Water Spraying Deterrents
Many people build their outdoor tortoise enclosure in their garden or yard. In that case, you can use a water spraying deterrent. It is also a good choice for people who want to scare animals without harming them.
They have detectors which activate upon sensing movement in the yard or garden. Water spraying deterrents spray water for a few seconds and turn it off automatically. These devices are also available with alarms. It is better to keep the device active at night, as many predators prefer night to attack tortoise enclosures.
Next, you should know about Nite guards. Nite guards have effective predator deterrent lights/ When you turn on a night guard at night, you will see a red colour dot blinking which looks like an animal eye. Hence, other animals get scared to come near it.
Use Nite guards close to your tortoise enclosure. It is best to set Nite guards on the enclosure walls or fix them on a tree. Solar-powered Nite guards are available in the market, so you do not have to worry about using electricity.
You can buy the Nite Guard Solar Predator Control Light for your tortoise enclosure. It has an automatic turn-on and turn-off system depending on sunlight exposure. The waterproof devices provide excellent service in any weather condition.
You probably know that animals urinate to mark their territory. Hence, other animals stay away from the spot when they smell urine from another predator. You can use this knowledge to protect your tortoise enclosure.
Predator urine deterrents are available in the market. You can order coyote urine online. Then sprinkle some predator urine around the enclosure. It will discourage animals like racoons and foxes from going near the tortoise enclosure. They will think a coyote already dominates the area.
Cameras can be very useful for monitoring the tortoise enclosure when you are not nearby. If you have the budget, you can install cameras in or around the tortoise enclosure. It will help you find out which predators visit your tortoises.
Besides, tortoises can try to escape their enclosures. You can increase security measures by how analyzing your tortoise’s behaviour.
Having cameras is also effective against tortoise thieves. You can use the recorded videos as evidence to find out your lost tortoises.
Finally, you can add some decorations near your tortoise enclosure. Decoys like scarecrows are effective in scaring off birds. However, you may find the animals and birds getting familiar with the decoy soon. So, do not rely only on decoys to protect the tortoises.
How Do I Keep Rats Out Of My Tortoise Enclosure?
Rats can be the worst predators for tortoises. They might be small but they can harm your tortoises. Rats can eat the limbs of your tortoise and hurt them badly. It gets more dangerous when rats attack tortoises during hibernation.
Rats are clever animals. They can dig under the wall of the tortoise enclosure and get in to eat the tortoises. You can prevent rats from attacking the tortoises by using some methods mentioned above. But the best thing you can do is build walls at least 12 feet deep in the ground so that the rats cannot get inside.
How Do I Keep My Dog Out Of My Tortoise Enclosure?
If you love animals, you may have more than one pet. Having a dog and a tortoise at the same time can be challenging. Like many other canines, dogs can also attack tortoises.
Pet dogs can hurt tortoises while trying to play. They find the tortoiseshell quite fascinating, so they may get into the enclosure. To protect your tortoises from a dog, build an enclosure with high walls. The walls should be deep because dogs can dig around the enclosure walls.
Next, place a wire mesh cover over the enclosure to prevent the dog from jumping inside the tortoises.
By now, you must have a good idea about how to predator-proof tortoise enclosure. Tortoises are peace-loving animals. They are not strong enough to protect themselves from predatory animals. Therefore, you must protect them by providing a secure enclosure.
As you have seen in the article, you have many ways to protect your tortoises. You can choose some effective methods to ensure your tortoise’s safety and help them live a long life.
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