How Much Does a Russian Tortoise Cost?

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How Much Does a Russian Tortoise Cost

Many people are interested in buying a Russian tortoise. Some have the intention of using it as a pet while others want to use it for breeding purposes.

Regardless, one question that should be asked is what does this type of tortoise cost?

The cost can vary depending on different factors such as if the Russian tortoise is captive-bred or wild-caught. Aspects such as age, sex, size, and color can also influence the price since these factors make them more or less valuable in the eyes of potential buyers.

The cost of taking care of one also varies with how much effort you put in to ensure its well-being.

It is important that you get a full understanding of how much do Russian tortoises cost before making a purchase.

This will allow you to determine if the investment is worth it in the long run.

Factors Affecting Russian Tortoise Price

Many people make the mistake of thinking that the price of one Russian tortoise is the same as the price for all Russian tortoises, the price can usually start from $50 up to $800 dollars. The fact of the matter is that the price of a Russian tortoise depends on many factors.

Additionally, it is important to note that there are different types of Russian tortoises. For example, there is a forest type and a steppe type of Russian tortoise.

This is why you need to look into the different types of Russian tortoises that are available and then determine which one is most fitting for you and your family.

The cost of a Russian tortoise as mentioned will depend on certain aspects and these are:

Age:If the tortoise is older it tends to be more expensive. Baby Russian tortoises cost more because they need more special care until they turn into an adult tortoise.
Sex:Most tortoise breeders will want females and they are more expensive than males. In most pet stores you will find more male Russian tortoises.
Size:If a tortoise from the same breed is bigger than the rest of its species it will be more expensive.
Special kind of color:If the tortoise looks healthy and has bright colors this can be an indication that it’s a pure breed. Tortoises can theoretically interbreed among different species.
Captive or wild breed:Captive-bred Russian tortoises will be more expensive than wild Russian tortoises, first of all, because it comes with a lot of costs to breed tortoises and second it’s mostly illegal to get wild tortoises.
Where do you buy it:You can obtain a tortoise from a breeder, a store, or even a private seller. If you want to get your tortoise from a private seller, they may have some of the setups in place for your tortoise, which will lower the overall cost for you.

RELATED READ: Can Tortoises Live Outside All Year Round?

What Is The Cheapest Type of Tortoise?

The cheapest type of tortoise is a wild-caught baby male Russian tortoise. The captive breed can cost several hundred dollars, whereas a wild one will only cost around $50.

What Is The Most Expensive Type of Tortoise?

The most expensive type of tortoise is the purebred female Russian tortoise with a special color type. This can cost several hundred dollars, like in crocodile-breeding, because it is special and rare.

baby russian tortoise

Whether or not purchasing a Russian tortoise is legal depends on your location and whether there are any importation restrictions imposed by your country’s law.

For example, in the United States, it is illegal to purchase a Russian tortoise unless you have a permit and can prove that you will be using the tortoise for personal, rather than commercial, purposes. You may also need to certify that you have an area in which your tortoise can live.

This is why you need to be careful when trying to purchase this tortoise because it may or may not be legal in your location.

Do You Need a License to Own a Tortoise?

In the US, if you have been issued a license to own a pet tortoise through your state government or local municipality, then this is legal.

However, if you have been issued a license that allows you to own a pet tortoise from the US Fish and Wildlife Service, then this is illegal.

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Costs of Owning a Russian Tortoise

Usually, the costs of purchasing a tortoise will be smaller than actually owning one.

For example, when figuring out how much does a Russian tortoise costs it’s important to also take into account extra costs like:

Taxes:You may have to pay taxes on the cost of your tortoise and this will depend on where you live and what type of information you provide to your state government.
Initial costs for setting the habitat:The initial costs for setting up your tortoise’s habitat can be expensive depending on how large it is and what equipment is included such as a tortoise enclosure, materials to build one if you intend to DIY, the UVB, and heat lamps, humidifier if needed, the substrate for inside, lighting to illuminate your tortoise’s space and water containers, and decorations.
Food costsFood costs will be necessary if you want to feed your tortoise a healthy diet. This can include fruits, vegetables, greens, and bugs. Treats are also a great way to bond with your tortoise.
Large amounts of landWhere you live will determine the amount of land you need to own for your tortoise’s habitat, if you don’t have a setup in place.
Maintenance costsYou need to check on your tortoise on a regular basis and provide it with the
Medical costs:Taking proper care of a Russian tortoise is necessary and you should not hold off on any medical care. If your tortoise falls ill, you will have to take it to a veterinarian and this can lead to hefty costs depending on what is wrong with your tortoise. You will also have to pay for possible medications.
Euthanasia Costs:If your tortoise falls ill and is suffering, you may need to consider euthanasia. This can be expensive and if done through a veterinarian, will probably lead to more costs.

As you can see, the costs of owning a Russian tortoise are much more expensive than the actual purchase of one.

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What is a Russian Tortoise?

The Russian tortoise is a species of tortoise found in parts of Asia and Eastern Europe. It is also known as the steppe tortoise and the Afghan tortoise. Despite its name, it is not related to tortoises from Russia (or anywhere else in Russia, in fact).

This species of tortoise is listed as threatened on the Red List of Threatened Animals by the IUCN, so it will be more expensive to purchase.

Average Life Span of Russian Tortoises

If you go on the internet and search about how long do tortoises live, you will find that different sources have different information.

The biggest problem with all of this is that it’s hard to tell if their information is accurate. Most of their facts come from opinions, not facts.

For instance, sources such as the Wisconsin Herpetological Society will say that Russian tortoises can live up to 80 years. On the other hand, most research points toward a more accurate life expectancy of about 40 years.

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How Big Should a Russian Tortoise Enclosure Be?

Typically, a Russian tortoise can grow to be about 12 to 15 inches in length with a weight of about 24 pounds. However, it can still grow larger, reaching 20 inches at maximum.

This means that the enclosure will need to be large enough for it to walk and turn around.

It’s also important to understand that when the tortoise is full-grown it will have very large, sharp claws. This means that lessened space can actually put its owner at a higher risk of getting injured by the tortoise.

Can Russian Tortoises Swim?

Russian tortoises are not the best swimmers, but they can swim if necessary. If your local climate has an area that floods often, it’s important to know that your tortoise won’t drown if it has to cross this area.

Tortoises can actually hold their breath for a few hours at a time, so if your tortoise has to cross an area that floods overnight, it will have no problems.

RELATED READ: Can Box Turtles Swim?

Are Russian Tortoises Good Pets?

Russian tortoises are good pets because they are so passive. You can keep them in your home or outside if you have the space, and they are relatively easy to look after as long as you know what you’re doing.

The problem with tortoises for most casual owners is that they have a long lifespan, they require a special large habitat, and are prone to carry more bacteria, which is why they’re not good for children since it requires a lot of responsibility.

Handling the Russian Tortoise

Handling the Russian Tortoise
Russian tortoises

The rule is that the larger the tortoise is, the more dangerous it will be. Smaller ones can still bite hard but are not as strong, while larger ones will be stronger and might bite harder.

You should never hold your tortoise against its will. You can tame it by feeding it near your hand, but this will not make it any less likely to bite you.

How Often Do You Feed a Russian Tortoise?

In the wild, baby tortoises usually eat daily while adults might only have to eat once a week. In captivity, the food schedule will depend on the size of your tortoise.

It’s important to make sure that you feed it well and regularly, but not too much. It should stay at a healthy weight, not gain or lose too much.

You should only feed it what it can eat in 20 minutes max. Any more than that and you’ll risk making it obese.

Russian Tortoise Shell Care

Tortoises need to have their shells cleaned regularly. You’ll have to clean out any feces or food with a warm rag, and then use a dry rag to dust off any dirt.

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The cost of a Russian tortoise can vary depending on the age, rarity, and where it was sourced.

It is important to do your research before purchasing one to ensure you are getting a healthy and affordable tortoise.

Some factors that will influence the price are whether it is captive-bred or wild-caught, how old it is, and what part of the world it comes from.

There are many costs associated with owning a Russian tortoise such as an appropriate enclosure, food, vet visits, and more.

By doing your homework ahead of time, you can make sure you’re prepared for all aspects of taking care of this fascinating creature.