Today was the day. 8 weeks ago, we hibernated our 2 tortoises and now,at last, it was time to see if they survived the ordeal.

They have been in the fridge in the shed for the last 2 months, blissfully unaware of the snow and bad weather we faced over the last few months.

It was with some trepidation I slowly lifted the box out of the fridge – luckily there was no “death” smell, so I was hopeful that all was well. As I lifted the lid, I was quite surprised that they had been digging and moving about in the box during this time of hibernation. The large one, Ginger slowly poked her head out and started moving pretty much as I touched her, where as Fred, the smaller one was not so lively, but never the less, still moved about a bit.

Then it was into recovery mode – you have to leave them at room tempreature for 30 mins, then put them under their lamps for 30 mins, then bath them in warm water several times, then put them in a glucose type solution to try and re-hydrate them as quickly as possible – this we have to do now for the next week – 3 times per day.

The larger one is very lively and alert, whilst the smaller one is a bit dopey still – this will improve over the coming days – but we are really pleased to see them after so long.

Some lessons learnt on this are :

  • Put them in hibernation earlier – we missed the optimum dates last year
  • Get more organised – I rushed about getting stuff yesterday we should have got 2 months ago!
  • Get a better fridge – ideally one of those little Budwieser drinks fridges – our normal fridge seemed to vary in temperature all the time
  • Don’t panic – they have been doing this in the wild for 1000’s of years!

I am glad this ordeal is over until next year. I have missed them walking all over the house.