Shelley is a Hermannís
tortoise, Testudo hermanni boettgeri, and was born in about 1940. Hermann's
tortoises come from Yugoslavia, Albania, Romania and Greece. There is
a much smaller race which is only found in Spain, France and Italy but
is much rarer and was hardly ever imported into Britain.
She is very active and loves walking round our garden all day when it
On Sunday 6th October 2019 we couldn't find her in the garden to bring
her in for the night and spent quite a long time hunting for her. She
had hidden herself away and on picking her up she was found to have a
fly strike (Myiasis) on her right rear leg. Somehow she had injured herself
between her leg and her shell, the area was now full of tiny maggots!
The wound was cleaned of the maggots with dilute hibiscrub that evening,
she was then taken to Laurels
Veterinary Centre, who
specialise in tortoises, the next morning.
She had to be operated on as the injury was found to go deep under her
shell and then kept in for eight days. When she came home we had to bath
her every day, clean the wound with dilute hibiscrub and then treat the
wound with Intasite Gel. This was carried on for two weeks, after which
we started using Flamazine Cream (Silver Sulfaiazine) instead of the Intasite
She had to return to the vets for a further operation in March 2020, the
wound wasn't closing up totally so it was glued together. We continued
with bathing and cleaning the wound with dilute hibiscrub.
Unfortunately, because of her injury we were advised not to hibernate
After a visit to the vets for a checkup it was decided to hibernate her
so on the 22nd November 2020 we put her in the fridge to hibernate, we
hope she will be OK!
Shelley emerged from hibernation on the 4th April 2021, she began eating
and drinking and soon started to put on weight but it was obvious her
leg was not good. The injury was cleaned every day with dilute hibiscrub,
we hoped things would improve.
Unfortunately we notice she was not using her leg properly to walk so
on the 19th April 2021 we returned to Laurels
Veterinary Centre so
she could be examined and a decision made as what to do next. Unfortunately
it was decided nothing more could be done for her and the very difficult
decision was made to put her to sleep.
If you think a tortoise can't have a character you should have met Shelley,
she definitely knew her name and would approach you especially if you
had food for her.
We will miss her greatly as will her friend Nancy!!
Please visit our page on hibernation for
useful information on using a refrigerator for safer more controlled hibernation.
For high quality images
for printing please click picture.