Tortoises are safe pets but tortoise keepers must be trained to handle and care for them safely. Tortoises (and turtles) can carry salmonella and other harmful bacteria. Other pets might also pose a safety risk to pet tortoises.
Not all tortoises carry salmonella but they are all likely to carry it. For health and safety, it is best to assume all reptiles and amphibians carry salmonella on their skin, scales, shells, or in their excrement.
Tortoises can die for a number of reasons including insufficient food, poor quality diet, unsanitary conditions, stress, and untreated infections and injuries. All these can cause your pet tortoise to die.
Tortoises, turtles and other reptiles do not need vaccinations or frequent vet visits, but they might need a little help sometimes. Tortoises and turtles do need some vet care but not as often as a cat or dog.
A tortoise can choke and die on a variety of objects. Hatchings are especially susceptible to choking as they haven’t learned what’s safe to eat and how much they can fit in their mouths. Older tortoises or those with other health conditions may choke as well.
Most often the answer is yes, tortoises can live safely with other animals. However, any animal can get aggressive, playful, curious and sometimes sick. In these scenarios, problems between tortoises and other animals can come up.
Tortoises and turtles absolutely cannot live without their shells. The shell is not something they can simply slip on and off. It is fused to the tortoises’ and turtles’ bones so they cannot live without it.