Protect Your Tortoise From Rats
It is an increasingly common problem that tortoises are being attacked by rats whilst hibernating. Commonly tortoises are put in the shed or garage in a cardboard box which makes it easy for rats to get in and chew their legs. The tortoises are clearly defenseless as they are unconscious and unable to move whilst hibernating. There have been several cases of them having their legs chewed whilst out and about as well; they aren't quick enough to get out of their way meaning that it is important that you protect your tortoise from rats using a safe repellent or deterrent.
Wounds can become infected and result in the necessity for amputation of limbs: this can result in very large vet bills. You can protect your pet using rat-repellent flooring. Create a protected perimeter around your beloved tortoise, keeping rats at bay whilst he is at it's most vulnerable. It is clearly not a good idea to use any chemical repellents around your pet and even an effective trapping campaign can still miss rats, leading to injury.
The oldest inhabitant of the UK died in in 2013 when he was bitten by a rat. Poor Thomas developed a severe infection which didn't improve with treatment, and eventually he died. Thomas was a tortoise who survived two world wars, including being pulled from the rubble of a building which was bombed.
Tortoises are some of the oldest living animals on the planet and anecdotal reports of lifespans in the region of 200 years exist but these are very difficult to verify as they often outlive the people keeping track of them.
Recently pets who have had limbs amputated as a result of rat damage have had Lego wheels fitted. Epoxy resin was used to fix a baseplate to the underside, then the wheels were attached, allowing him to scoot along. Reports are that their speed can be doubled by the addition of a set of Lego wheels. Amazingly Lego is the largest manufacturer of tyres in the world, making them ideally situated to provide for these injured reptiles.
It is very important that tortoises are hibernated carefully. There are several considerations you need to take into account when you put them down to hibernate. They need to have plenty of stored fat in order that they can survive the winter without eating. They also need to be well hydrated. It is very important that they do not freeze, meaning that it is not a good idea to leave them in the shed or garage without some temperature control. Protect them from rats by using our rodent-repellent flooring.
"Aldabra.giant.tortoise.arp" by Adrian Pingstone - Taken by Adrian Pingstone. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Aldabra.giant.tortoise.arp.jpg#/media/File:Aldabra.giant.tortoise.arp.jpg