It’s December. It’s cold. Frankie is inside. Frankie is bored. Entertaining a large sulcata tortoise inside a house (in my case a 65 pound sulcata) is no easy task, especially when the sulcata tortoise is used to being outside and wants to be outside. I do my very best by arranging a variety of activities, amusements and amenities to keep him happy lest he destroy the gecko room out of boredom.
These are all the aquariums that Frankie brought down — all of these!
Nine hours: from the time the gecko room lights automatically come on at 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 pm when the lights automatically go out. There isn’t much to do.
Wake up and bask in the igloo. Return to the igloo and warm up about 6 times during the day.
Walking through the gecko shelf (step up, step down, turn around, step up, step down).
And back through the other way.
Pee on the floor and then push things through it.
Demand to go outside by pushing against the gecko room door.
Walk around the cricket shelf and under the desk.
If it’s warm enough, get lead outside by me so he can see for himself it is too cold outside so he will turn around and come back inside.
Push the cricket cart around the room.
Bother the box turtles by sitting and looking into their enclosure.
Rest in the middle of the gecko room floor thinking out his next plans.
Pooping. Frankie stretches his back legs as high as he can (I assume so the poop can clear his shell), grunting the poop out and then sitting back on the poop so he drags it around under his shell.
Push his hay and grass trough from its original place to the other side of the gecko room.
Eat a carrot.
Walk under the chair.
Those activities hardly cover six hours for a very bored I-want-to-be-outside-walking-and-not-inside sulcata tortoise. Those three plus unfilled hours are potentially disastrous when one must consider the room is filled with glass terrariums, 200 geckos, four shelves, five stands, a desk and a table. Frankie cannot be trusted to behave…..I’ve seen what he can do.
Hmm, toy for a sulcata?
I have tried some unsuccessful toys: a ball (once Frankie deemed it uneatable it was no longer interesting), empty buckets (why push these around when Frankie can terrify crickets by pushing their cart around).
Water Dragon, Rose, avoiding Frankie by hiding under the desk.
Frankie has attempted to make his own toys: electric wires (oh, the horror), eat newspaper and towels, and chase the water dragon (who now knows not to roam on the floor while Frankie is around.
So you see, keeping Frankie completely amused is more than important — it’s essential.
Fortunately this year I found something that can amuse Frankie for up to 45 minutes at a time. Kid you not! I brought his “girlfriend” inside. His girlfriend is a large steel mixing bowl that Frankie can comfortably mount and play mate. Literally: play mate. He spends up to forty-five minutes humping the steel bowl complete with loud grunting. And he can do this about once every hour. He is also content to just sit on “her” for long time periods.
I guess it can even be consider exercise.
And “she” can be put away out of sight should we have visitors (like the termite inspection guy last week).
So, along with the other walking, climbing, pushing, eating, pooping, peeing and basking indoors, the “girlfriend” has help keeping Frankie amused.