Greetings from the Creep Next Door!


Aretha, Chili, Bertha, Wilhelmina, Persephone, & Darwin


A creep is a name for a group of tortoises; my creep lives in New Hampshire, and I'm watching the first serious snow of the year fly this afternoon while I sit at my desk, in my office, surrounded by tortoises.

Darwin, minutes after his arrival

The first tortoise that came to live with me was Darwin, a Redfoot Tortoise. He was delivered to my door by the FedEx guy, and in the picture above was about a minute out of the box. In the 2.5 years since them, he's gone from around the size of a squash ball (about 50g) to about the size of a loaf of bread (at nearly 1700g)... a 34-fold increase in weight.

Chili enjoying a Rose of Sharon

Next came Chili, an adult (elderly?) Russian Tortoise, a rescue, who'd spent the previous 20 years in significantly sub-optimal conditions. I loved getting him outside that first summer and seeing him enjoying himself, exploring and snacking his way through a whole new world.

Aretha enjoying a Hibiscus flower

Aretha, a Burmese Black Mountain Tortoise, was the third tortoise to join our creep. She could someday grow to be 100 pounds, but arrived, like Darwin, tiny, and via FedEx, from Florida. It's been a marvel to watch her grow and change over time.

Persephone, Wilhelmina, & Bertha enjoying various foods

The final additions to our creep has been the addition of three female Russian Tortoises, all rescues (from the left, Persephone, Wilhelmina, and Bertha). My hope is that they, together with Chili will form a breeding group and produce some viable eggs and offspring in the years to come.

Rescuing or rehoming a Tortoise gives them a new lease on life 

I love all of the tortoises that I live with, enjoy getting to know their individual peculiarities and tweaking their environments to maximize their well-being, but I find a special joy in knowing that the Russian Tortoises, forming their own creep within a creep, are living better lives today because we were able to find each other.

My plan with "The Creep Next Door" is to share what I learn in living with these amazing creatures, both from our successes and failures; to hopefully expand the knowledge-base of the general public, thereby improving things for tortoises, and other creeps, everywhere.

Jamie, Westmoreland, NH, 12/02/2020