Our expert says:
After consulting with the Tortoise Trust I have the following suggestions for you.
The most likely causes for the aggression would be either territorial aggression (which should decrease in intensity towards the end of the breeding season, about early Feb) or possibly the keeping of the tortoise in a too small enclosure.
Giving him a female could improve the situation but may heighten the aggression too.
Chronic pain (such as arthritis etc) can also make tortoises aggressive.
We suggest that the tortoise be placed in a safe, enclosed environment with adequate grasses and other plants to eat, access to a pond for drinking and swimming and a hide box for cooler nights. We see lots of tortoises with severe bite wounds from dogs and strongly recommend that they be kept apart. Even if nothing has happened until now, dogs are known to suddently attack tortoises even if they have been living together happily for years.
There is excellent information available on the internet regarding tortoise husbandry. The tortoise trust as well as WWW.dewsbury crafts.co.za are good places to start.
p.s. you could always try placing Granny in her own pen too! (Joking).
Dr Dorianne Elliott
Bird and Exotic Animal Veterinarian
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