Meet Delilah

I think she's smiling

We have a new pet (yes, another one).  Her name is Delilah.   She comes to us via Sean’s mom.  She found her under her car a few years ago, and since tortoises are good luck in Japanese culture, and since my mother-in-law has a collection of tortoise figurines and loves all things tortoise related, she took her to her backyard and Delilah came to live with her.  She was a cute little tortoise, about five pounds.

Mom-in-law had no idea she was a Sulcata tortoise, the third largest species of tortoise in the world.  They can grow to be 70-110 pounds.  And they can eat, and eat, and eat, and grow, and grow, and grow.  She is now getting a little too big for the patio she lives on at mom-in-law’s house.  We told her we would take her when we had a yard, then when our kids were older.  Last weekend, some stupid teenager let her out of the yard and placed her in the middle of the street.   (People suck.)   She was rescued by a neighbor and fortunately not hit by a car, but it’s now time to get her out of there.

She is currently a little under 50 pounds.  She weighs more than any of my children, and is close to the dog’s weight.   We have a three tiered backyard.  She is on the top two tiers, and can easily move around them.  There are stairs between the first and second tiers.  She seems to be smart enough to avoid the stairs so far.

I think she's smiling

We picked her up today.  She seems to be adjusting well.  She has cruised all over the two tiers, pooped, eaten, and comes up to us when we’re near.  She and the dog have a tenuous relationship right now, but I’m sure they’ll adjust.  My plants, however, may be destroyed.  She has eaten some rose bush and plowed through the little wire fence around my garden.  I was hoping it would visually deter her, no such luck.  The older girls are fascinated by her and love to watch her eat.  (She eats whole bananas, peels and all!)

Delilah loves tomatoes

Our biggest challenge with her will be to get her on some timothy hay.  They have digestion systems kind of similar to horses, and should be on a predominantly hay diet with veggies and fruits as supplemental food.  She currently gets no hay, and she loves her fruit.  Fortunately, she’s doesn’t have the ability to pick things out of her pile of food.  We stuck some tortoise pellets and hay into her bananas and tomatoes today, and she ate them right up.  It’s a matter of quantity now.

Anyone else have tortoises, turtles, or other reptiles?  Do you like having them around?  Do you feel they have personalities too?

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9 Responses to “Meet Delilah”

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  1. Michelle M says:

    Oh WOW!! That is so cool!! I know my girls would love a pet like Delilah! We go to a place called Reptile Gardens and they have Giant Tortoises!! ( Theyre pretty crazy!
    .-= Michelle M´s last blog .. =-.

  2. ElizOF
    Twitter: ElizObihFrank

    Happy SITS Wednesday! I thoroughly enjoyed Delilah’s story; it brought back memories of childhood for me. My mom was big fan and had a family of tortoises in our yard. They were quite small – not the same breed as Delilah – but they were fiercely loyal to my mom and would head straight to her for food.
    Great pictures of Delilah too. We currently have a cat even though I grew up with dogs and a slew of other small animals. Like you, I love animals. Check out my recent post on Sacred cows.
    I’m glad I stopped by as you have a great blog. Keep going…
    .-= ElizOF´s last blog ..Sacred Cows: To End Childhood Hunger – Charity Meets Creativity =-.

  3. jaded16 says:

    I LOVE turtles! When I volunteered for this animal shelter, I kind of lost my heart to a gorgeous Star Turtle Mimi. Ah that little devil. Of course they have moods and expressions! At least in my world they do :)
    .-= jaded16´s last blog ..I Can’t Believe You Laugh At This: The Edition Of Just Why I Want To Live In A Cave =-.

  4. Jessica Anne says:

    @ Michelle–My girls love her! That place looks cool! It looks like they have the two species of tortoise that are bigger than Delilah.

    @ElizOf–Thanks for stopping by! Loved the sacred cow post!

    @Jaded– I agree. Delilah definitely has a personality.

  5. Mama Hen says:

    What a pet! My daughter would love that! Great pictures! Have a great Wednesday!

    Mama Hen

  6. Alyna, The Gift Detective
    Twitter: GiftDetective

    I think Delilah is SO cool! I think you’ll really enjoy this video:

    How cute is that?!?!? :-)

    Isabelle, (my dog) met a tortoise at a park one day in California and at first, she was VERY startled by this thing that she saw out of the corner of her eye that was MOVING. I think she assumed it was a rock at first. It was a fun encounter, especially after she realized it was an animal and wasn’t scared any longer.

    I also knew someone in college who had a tortoise and they told me (don’t know if it is true or not) that you can inhibit a tortoises growth by the size of enclosure it is in. Their bodies wouldn’t grow larger than the space they naturally had or some such thing.

    I think most animals have personalities…it is just a matter of getting to know them.

    I wonder if turtles can be clicker trained. Sounds like she is very food motivated so I wouldn’t be surprised if she could be…might be a way to keep her in the yard AND out of your garden!

    Hugs to your new pet!!!
    .-= Alyna, The Gift Detective´s last blog ..Matter of Trust =-.

  7. Gina says:

    I have no experience with reptiles, but she certainly looks like she has a sweet disposition!

    Found you through Blog Flow – I’m your newest follower!

    .-= Gina´s last blog ..Sharing is Caring =-.

  8. Melissa
    Twitter: adventuroo

    LOVE the turtle’s expression! We don’t have pets of the reptile kind in our house yet but she sure is cute! I think my dog would freak out though- haha.
    .-= Melissa ´s last blog ..Wordless Wednesday: There are no words… =-.


  1. […] have three tiers.  The lower tier is where the kids’ toys are.  The top two tiers is where the tortoise lives and some extra open space.  I prefer the kids stay on the first tier mostly.  Penny […]