The ways of husbandry in a vivarium, house floor, at balcony or lawn do not convince me at all as I think that they do not suit these species in the long term. On this website I would therefore like to show you my outdoor enclosures for Mediterranean Tortoises, which are naturalistically landscaped and therefore offer these wild animals a way of life close to their natural requirements, even when in human care.
A group of only the same species or subspecies lives together in each enclosure. A gender ratio of 1:2 or 1:3 of adult (sexually mature) animals is observed, which means: two or three females per male should live in the same enclosure. With my animals, I don’t need to separate the genders – not even temporarily – as they have enough retreats and hides to use. My tortoises are also very tolerant of each other. They may occasionally bite one another during the mating season but do not injure each other seriously.
Apart from the number and gender of the animals, I also pay attention to their size or age in order to create a homogenous group. Juveniles and hatchlings should never be kept together with adult animals, but instead in a smaller and specially protected enclosure. The setups of my enclosures are designed with a focus on self-sufficiency, i.e. the animals live there very independently and choose their food themselves from a very diverse range of plants, which I provide with previous sowings and planting. This way, I can be sure that the animals can have a varied diet without their keeper influencing their eating behaviour negatively. I advocate the concept of self-sufficiency, and that is why the sizes of the enclosures should be large enough. This is the only way in which the necessary variety and quantity of foraging plants can be provided.