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FAQ Testudoalbino - Testudoalbino

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Who is Testudoalbino?
Testudoalbino is an Italian CITES-recognized breeding centre of Mediterranean tortoises with over 30 years’ experience. It sells only in-house bred animals equipped with any required documentation.
I do not live in Italy and I would like to buy the tortoises. How can I do that?
First of all I recommend you  to read and understand our sales terms and conditions, then contact me via contact form. Testudoalbino can sell its animals throughout the world.
Can I visit the breeding farm?
No, our breeding centre is not open to the public.
How can I purchase a tortoise?
You will find all the necessary information in our sales conditions.
I would like to buy a tortoise, but I do not know which would be most suited to me...
We need first to ask you another question: what I can guarantee to the tortoise that I would like to buy? First you need to learn as much as you can about the biology and the needs of these animals. Athough extremely long-lived and robust, they easily fall ill if something does not properly fit their needs. Theorethically speaking, just a nice and sunny garden is enought to keep them safe, ie almost everywhere in the Mediterranean area. In this case, the main rule is to let the tortoises do what they want to: in fact, the climate is usually suitable and instinct tells the animals how to behave in any natural situation. However, instinct cannot provide any kind of aid in unnatural conditions. The choice of the species and/or subspecies should be made based on all these variables and certainly Testudoalbino can best advise you.
I already own some tortoises and I would buy a new species/subspecies...
Although this is a recurrent question, it hides many pitfalls. First of all, it must be understood that the coexistence between species and/or different subspecies, even though feasible on paper, is extremely risky. "But I have been breeding many different species together for many years and nothing has ever happened!" Often this is the most frequently given response. Well, you have been lucky, for the moment at least. Some diseases may remain occult even for decades but once they break out there is no way out. There are proven evidences that the combination of multiple agents, maybe individually harmless, for a given species may be lethal: once they come into contact with each other, they act synergistically causing serious damage and epidemics of deadly diseases. This is a rare occurrence but when it happens there is no solution at all! Thankfully, these extreme situations are not the rule, but you can have an increase in mortality and fairly debilitated and suffering specimens. In principle, we must ensure a proper separation between species and/or different subspecies or animals of different origin. If this is not possible, we should dedicate ourselves to a single species/subspecies.
Can I vaccinate my animals against major tortoises’ diseases?
No. There are no studies on this subject, let alone vaccines. You can only prevent their outbreak by implemeneting the highest breeding hygiene and management standards. It is acknowledged that we are the main cause for diseases spread. We should then mistrust anyone who does not follow strictly these simple rules and cannot guarantee the animal’s healthy conditions because he/she does not know its origins and history.
Both unicellular and vermiform intestinal parasites may be dangerous. How can we cope with them?
Given that a proper evaluation of each case lies with our trusted tortoise-expert veterinary, it depends on the type of organism, its numerical presence, the animal’s health conditions and whether the intestinal microbiota is balanced or not. As a rule, every animal intestines may be regarded as a habitat where thousands of different species live and which, under normal conditions, are in a state of mutual, physiological balance. Each plays an important role and there is always an exchange of "favors" between guests and host that normally makes this cohabitation profitable. Problems arise when these balances crash and one species prevails over another due to environmental stress, diseases, incorrect feeding etc.  - not necessarily considered as patogenous. Even pharmacological treatments may seriously alter this balance: as a consequence, any intervention will be carefully assessed for costs and benefits, including that in the case of parasites. Some believe that we should intervene in every case, some on the basis of the infestation level. Given that even the most radical contrast action will be rendered immediately vain and useless by the fact that these organisms are present and resistant in the environment in dormant forms that can be activated even after decades, it is probably appropriate to intervene only in the event of obvious alterations to this balance.
I know all about tortoises breeding, I have read many books and I can count on advice that I find on the web... Google knows everything!
Testudoalbino guarantees free and professional after-sale service: thanks to our 30 years’ experience and our scientific specific background, we know the animals very and know how to breed and reproduce them properly. However, there are still many things that we do not know and remain unknown also to the most expert insiders. If you think you know anything about tortoises then I wish you good luck. I congratulate you because I am jealous of your self-assureness. But please, do not call me in case of troubles you caused to your animals.
Hibernation should be done or it can be skipped? They told me that it is better to do it because skipping it is too risky...
As hibernation is a physiological condition of most Mediterranean Testudo, it is essential to the animals. Tortoises are perfectly capable of go into hibernation, while it has not evolved to skip it. Preventing the natural period of winter latency not only is dangerous but seriously alters the biological cycle of the animal. On the other hand, this does not absolutely guarantee the survival as they want us to believe. It must be done by respecting the physiological characteristics of the same, without resorting to dangerous artifices.
Are the animals sold guaranteed?
Yes, the Italian law provides for one-year warranty that covers any occult health problems, present and demonstrable as such at the time of sale and even at a later time. Testudoalbino implements the highest hygiene standards and the strictest management rules, besides performing random tests against the main diseases in various pens, whose results are freely available for consultation on our site. We undertake to deliver only healthy animals. If a health problem arises due to this case, it should be ascertained and certified by an experienced veterinarian. More information can be found in the Sales’ Terms and Conditions section.
What is the difference between a normal-colored animal and an albino specimen?
Given that more information can be found in the section concerning color variants, we can say that albinism usually is not a pathological condition and, from a biological standpoint, the only difference lies in the absent or reduced ability to produce melanin, ie  black color. However, it must be stated clear that the pattern in reptiles has not only ornamental /mimetic purpose, but facilitates and promotes thermoregulation process: therefore, the absence or lack of color makes this process less efficient in a wider range of situations. As a result, it is appropriate to put the albino specimen in always optimal conditions in order to facilitate this process.
They say that albino tortoises have troubles with the sunlight. Is it true?
If we speak of reptiles, where the physiology and the structure of the skin adnexa are quite different from those of mammals, the answer is no. In herbivore tortoises the need to expose themselves to the sun to promote the production of vitamin D so that the calcium they need can be fixed is the same as that of a normal colored specimen. Obviously, a higher sensitivity to unfiltered bright light by a de-pigmented iris remains but this phenomenon is essentially comparable to what light eyed people experience compared to those who have dark eyes.
An albino speciment mating with a normal one will yield albino babies?
No, the newborns are invariably normal colored, even though carriers of a copy of the mutated gene. For an in-depth insight, please, consult the color variants section.
Why tortoises must be equipped with a CITES certificate and a microchip?
The European legislation recognizes a serious vulnerability state for all species of Mediterranean Testudo and therefore requires a unique marking by a micro transponder. The number will be included in the certificate and  microchip reading may be implemeneted by common microchip readers according to standards prescribed by law.
CITES Certificates are all the same?
No, there are different types of certificates depending on animals’ source/origin and purpose. A CITES animal can only be sold if the purpose and source of the certificate is commercial. In any other cases, there can be no trade, exchange, gift or other alienation forms. Commercial source is also released to private individuals, provided that they comply with certain rules of law. The certificate always comes with the animal and it must always be released upon transfer. Important: It may not be required by the Purchaser, but only by the seller.
I have other questions that are not included in this FAQ. What am I supposed to do now?
I will be happy to answer any questions that you may send through our dedicated contact section.
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