I recently posted about my first Desert Tortoise, Doris. You can view that story here. (If I got that linking thing right) A year or so after Doris became part of my family, I was asked to adopt Doris' mom. Her owner was trying to cut down on the number of tortoises he had. Momma Tortoise is big and grumpy, apparently she wasn't raised to be close to people like Doris was. I took her in anyway (how could I turn away Doris' mother?), and my husband and I built her a nice habitat adjacent to Doris'.
Desert Tortoises are solitary animals, spending most of their long lives alone. When put together, they will often fight for their territory, so each enclosure has a 2' high cinder block wall around it, and they are about 30' x 30'. I'm lucky enough to have a big back yard that has plenty of room for the tortoise habitats.
There seems to be some kind of secret code among tortoise owners that I was not aware of. Once you get one, you are likely to acquire more because word gets out. Not long after I got Momma Tortoise, one of my colleagues asked me if I could adopt his Desert Tortoise, Speedy. He was getting a divorce, was moving into an apartment, and his wife did not want the tortoise. I couldn't think of a reason to say "no," (however, my husband has since given me reason to say NO to any additional tortoises....)
We built Speedy his own habitat in the back of our property next to Doris and Momma Tortoise. It turns out Speedy was apparently an Olympic gymnast in another life... the 2' high cinderblock couldn't contain him, so for his own safety, he has our whole backyard to himself... the last thing I wanted was to find Speedy upside down in 120 degree heat from trying to climb over his enclosure wall. Speedy has a great personality and loves people. He is easily identified by a misshapen plate in his shell - normally they are all 5-or-6 sided, Speedy has one shaped like a triangle.
Speedy has been a great addition to our family, and the 3 tortoises give me hours of amusement..... stay tuned for more tortoise adventures....