Cars, cans… pets? The Liquid retro theme continues with my new and very unusual houseguest. 

 
Meet Freida, an 8 year old Hermann's Tortoise (Testudo Hermanni). This species occurs naturally in Mediterranean Europe. She needs to be provided with a 'warm' basking area of between 32 and 38 degrees during the day. Freida loves to sit directly under her heat lamp... unfortunately so does my fat black and white cat Ozzy, who I quite often find sat in her place. 
 
The dynamic between her and my 3 cats has been interesting to watch and their interaction is often very entertaining. Ozzy is entranced by her and likes to follow wherever she goes. 
 
She could potentially reach around 110 years old - certainly a massive commitment for any responsible pet owner! Hermanni breed tortoises are small to medium sized and rarely grow larger than 18cm in length. Freida is a vegetarian and I have to keep a close eye on her as she heads towards the cat biscuit bowl for a feast! 
 
In the 1970's and 80's they were widely kept as pets in this country. Not a winter went by without Blue Peter getting their special shoeboxes out and showing us how to put our heroes in a half-shell away for an extended snooze. Ah George, where is he now? 
 
Due to habitat destruction and poaching for the pet trade, From (Dec/2012) Hermann’s tortoises are IUCN Red list category – near threatened in the wild! So I feel quite privileged to be caring for such a funny, characterful and cheeky tortoise. 

Blog by: Gemma