My neighbors are offerring to give us their Russian tortoise. I'd like to keep it in our back yard if possible. A few questions: Can it survive outdoors in San Francisco? Damp winters, foggy summers. Rarely freezes, mild temperatures during the summers. Also, can they defend or protect themselves from raccoons? We have many of the furry critters...
Thanks in advance.
My neighbors are offerring to give us their Russian tortoise. I'd like to keep it in our back yard if ... temperatures during the summers. Also, can they defend or protect themselves from raccoons? We have many of the furry critters...

i think San Fran is a little cool for a Russian, but if you have a heated greenhouse for it to retreat to that should be ok. also, you need to have a setup to hibernate it (it's not cool enough so they'll dig in & hibernate).
also, raccoons love to snack on tortoises, so you do need a predator proof enclosure for it.
lee

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"My neighbors are offerring to give us their Russian tortoise. I'd like to keep it in our back yard if possible. A few questions: Can it survive outdoors in San Francisco? Damp winters, foggy summers. Rarely freezes, mild temperatures during the summers. Also, can they defend or protect themselves from raccoons? We have many of the furry critters..."
== Mild summer temps as they relate to mammals
PROBABLY too chilly for a reptile even when it warm by your standards Very little a raccoon can not and will not eat.
Turtles stand no chance against a raccoon.
We walk our turtles in an open top enclosure during the 2 or 3 days of "hot" weather we get on the Oregon Coast. A "guard" is always on duty when the Russian, Yellow foots and a Hermanns are outside, as we have 'coons around both day and night.
h
I have recently found a Russian. I was riding my motorcycle through the hills and there was a rock moving in the middle of the road. I stopped picked up the guy and put him in my tank bag. I brought him home to Palo Alto (south of SF by 30 miles). He has been doing great in the back yard. My dandelions are now under control. He loves melons, blue berries and green beans too. Fortunately we have a big dog and 2 cats. This keeps the raccoons out of the yard. None of the other pets mess with the tortoise.

Now that we are the brink of winter, how do I hibernate him (male verified)?

No, I am not new to herps. I have had all kinds and still have a Sumbava and several frogs.
Please, fire away. Chelonians are not my specialty

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whatever in religion, in philosophy, in
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addiction is the last degradation of a free
and moral agent.
-Thomas Jefferson, letter to Francis Hopkinson, March 13, 1789