Sulcata Tortoise – Facts and Information

Our world is blessed with life forms that are so diverse. Across the vast stretches of land and seas, live different life forms that are astounding in their own ways. The range of such species is truly immense. Both our earth’s flora and fauna are marvels to behold. Out of all these living forms, the ones who have walked our earth for centuries are the tortoises. When I say “centuries”, I really mean it! A tortoise can live to be over a hundred years old and can be very big once they reach adulthood. Out of all these tortoises, the sulcata tortoise (also known as the African spurred tortoise) is known to be the third largest (next to the Galapagos tortoise and Aldabra giant tortoise).

Before we proceed any further, it would be great to distinguish what a tortoise is from a turtle. Using these two terms can be really confusing and some of us might even use it interchangeably. Well, the fact of the matter is that a tortoise falls under the category of turtles. It is apparent how both of them are reptiles and have shells to protect their bodies. While there are a number of differences between the two, one of the easiest to distinguish is how tortoises are not much of water dwellers such as turtles. Generally, tortoises prefer to be in dry areas while turtles mostly live in water. So, there you have it – a major distinction between a turtle and tortoise.

Despite the fact that these tortoises will indeed become huge when fully grown, they have been made available to prospective pet owners. If you are one of those who plan to have a tortoise as a pet, then learning more information about them will help you understand their nature. Here are some facts about the tortoise:


From the name of the African spurred tortoise itself, it is easy to tell that they are native to the African continent. They can particularly be found in the Sahara Desert, in countries across the continent including Ethiopia, Sudan, Nigeria, Mali, and Mauritania among many others. Their natural habitats are grasslands, savannahs and shrublands. They are known to burrow into the ground of these dry lands so that they may find moist areas and escape high temperatures. In fact, their burrowing ability is quite remarkable and they have been referred to as little bulldozers due to this ability. When placed in captivity such as when they are made as pets, there are some notes that should be remembered to assure that these tortoises remain away from health risks. They must also be kept in similar conditions just like in their natural habitat. That is, they must be kept in a dry and hot environment and avoid being in cold and damp temperatures. When it rains or if the nights turn out to be too cold, they can be placed indoors in temporary housing set-ups.


Being herbivores, the diet of a tortoise constitutes mostly of vegetables, grasses and other herbaceous plants. A tortoise’s diet is another subject matter that should be discussed thoroughly due to its complexity. Hence, we came up with a separate article that can help you look into the matter further.


It is widely known how tortoises have a lengthy lifespan. These animals can live for over a century. In the case of sulcata tortoises, they are expected to have a lifespan of about 50 to 150 years. Well, that means that some of these tortoises alive today have been around since the latter part of the 19th century! Now that’s one amazing feat.


As hatchlings, they are barely 3 inches in length and you might be in for a surprise as they get older. Being the third largest out of all tortoises, you can expect the African spurred tortoise to get really big when fully grown. In average, they can weigh up to 200 lbs and be 24 to 36 inches long. Hence, necessary adjustments should be made to its housing and caging as they grow older. However, don’t worry too much about that while they are too young since it will take time for them to be massive in size.

People who consider having a tortoise should be responsible enough to understand the nature of these animals. In this manner, they can be assured that the tortoise can be healthy and reach its expected lifespan. Providing them with the proper diet and care are keys so they can enjoy a healthy life.

Quick Facts About Tortoise Pet 

It’s natural for people, especially kids, to love pets. But other than the typical types of pets such as dogs and cats, Tortoise pet is also becoming very popular for many pet lovers. This growing trend in pet ownership and interest is not exclusive to America or, first world countries but even in developing countries.

So you’re interested in keeping Tortoise as the newest member of our family. But before you even go to the nearest pet shop and buy that cute little tortoise, you need to know important pet caring facts. Knowing these things will help you ensure the welfare of your pet and avoid problems along the way.


petTortoises along with turtles are among the still existing creatures that have lived some 200 years ago. This means that we’re too fortunate to have seen these creatures that have walked the earth along with now extinct creatures like the dinosaurs.

Their interesting background makes them even more attractive to many pet owners and collectors. But other than their colorful history, there are other things that make them a good pet, even for those who have no previous experience with pets.

That’s why it is very important that every prospective pet owner should consider all the information that relate to Tortoise pet to avoid potential problems. You will also need these pieces of information as a guide for the proper handling and management of tortoise since they have specialized needs that you won’t know even if you have experience of taking care of a dog or cat for that matter.


Before anything else, probably one of the most important aspect of pet ownership is the aspect of diet. Thus, it’s very crucial to take note of the tortoises’ diet and make it a point that it’s easy to get by from your area.

By knowing the basic information, especially this kind of pet’s diet, along with helpful pet handling guides, you can say that you’re ready to bring home another addition to your family without jeopardizing the welfare of your family as well as the pet itself.

Tortoises for Sale – Where to Buy

Pets can come in different shapes and sizes. There are pets out there which are popular to many while there are others which are considered to be exotic. Caring for pets that are out of the usual can be pretty much challenging. However, for both pet owners and enthusiasts alike, this can be rather both interesting and exciting. Such is the case when you plan to have a tortoise as a pet. The prospect of having a tortoise as a pet isn’t really unheard of but it certainly is something that you won’t typically hear about. Tortoises can be really interesting pets and taking care of them can pose a challenge. But, a lot of pet owners choose to have tortoises as pets due to their admirable qualities. If you are one of those who find interest in having one as a pet, then you can first start by looking for tortoises for sale around your area.

Did you know that tortoises have one of the longest life spans out of all other animals? When compared to the average human life, some tortoises have lived for more than double the life span of some human beings. Their average life span is 100 years while some live to up to around 200 years old. Amazing, right? This means that pet tortoises can even live longer than their original owners. Thus, they may be passed on from generation to generation or may be passed on from owner to owner during their lifetimes. One such instance is one that involves renowned English scientist, Charles Darwin. Many know him for formulating the theory of evolution. He has links to a tortoise which died in Australia in the year 2006. The tortoise which was called Harriet, died at the age of 175 – over a hundred years since the death of Darwin himself. According to records from the Australia Zoo where she was kept, Darwin took Harriet from the Galapagos Islands in 1835. Although there are doubts regarding this tortoise’s links to Darwin, living through many years of modern history is quite a feat, even for a tortoise. This is yet another reason on why tortoises can make interesting pets.

Now that you have learned more about some characteristics of tortoises, you might want to come back to the main question – where can you find tortoises for sale? Well, before you proceed with buying one, it is important to first think of which type of tortoise might suit you best. There are several types of tortoises and while they may be really tiny in size in the beginning, you should keep in mind that in the long run, they are going to grow into something much bigger. Hence, do your little research on which tortoise will be best for you before you go on and buy one. Once you have selected which tortoise to buy, the question will be about where to get one. When looking to buy a pet tortoise, the most sensible thing to do first is to look for one in your local pet shop. However, if they don’t have one around your area, then there are other ways for you to acquire one. As long as you have access to the Internet, there are tons of options online when you intend to buy a tortoise. There are online shops that are dedicated to selling tortoises, some of which are TortoiseSupply and TortoiseCentre.

Aside from getting a tortoise from a shop, a better way of acquiring one is through rescuing one via adoption. Just like other pets that you might know of, there are also tortoises out there that need to be rescued. If you believe that you are one of those who can give these creatures the love and care that they need, then why not adopt one and give them a new place they could call home. Certainly, it will be a rather fulfilling experience. Not only have you welcomed a new member to your household, but also you have given an animal in need a new home and the attention that it deserves. If you want to learn more about tortoise adoption, you can check the website for Tortoise Trust Web.

The Most Important Tortoise Care Everyone Should Know

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWhether you’re a new to pet ownership or have been keeping some pets for years now and if you intend to get a tortoise as a pet, you should know important tortoise care management tips. Keeping a tortoise as a pet will not only give you that kind of happiness when you get when raising a typical pet.

By raising a tortoise, you will be exposed to some important realizations about wildlife protection efforts. You will also learn important things other than the tortoises. When you start keeping tortoise as a pet, you will come to realize important things not only about specific species of tortoise but other wildlife in general.

Level of difficulty in raising tortoise

Generally, raising tortoise may require high level of maintenance to the pet keepers. Since tortoise originated in an arid area, bringing them in to colder region may have some effects to the animal. This may require special tortoise care that no other pets require from its owners.

In most cases, tortoise that are bought from irresponsible breeders have poor health condition and may die sooner than its cohorts in the wild. But there are those few responsible breeders who sell quality tortoise that were breed in such a manner that the health of the young tortoise are jeopardized just to produce as many as possible.

Buy from a respected breeder

tortoise care-2One of the biggest mistakes that pet owners do is buying their pets from an irresponsible breeder. But what they didn’t know about these breeders is that they are only after making some money and not taking into consideration the welfare of the animals they produce.

A respected animal breeder knows every aspect of an ethical breeding from choosing the right pedigree to going through the right procedures. Being able to choose a respected tortoise breeder is a one step forward towards responsible pet ownership.

Planning To Buy A Baby Sulcata? Read This First

baby sulcataBuying wild animals, including tortoise, has been a subject of debate for many years now. In fact, several wildlife rescue groups are encouraging the public to avoid buying baby sulcata especially those less than 4 inches.

The issue of buying tortoise has been going around for years now but there are still many people doing it all over the world. With this, the American Tortoise Rescue (ATR) has continuously doing public awareness on the importance of responsible pet ownership.

In a sense, responsible pet ownership encompasses different areas including knowing what pets are allowed by law to be owned. When it comes to tortoise, there are certain species that can be legally acquired while there are also those that must be protected.

Need for concerted effort

baby sulcata-Chart

Without an intensive action and common effort to put an end to the massive poaching of turtles and tortoise, especially those that are considered as endangered species, most of the world’s turtles and tortoise will be extinct in the coming years.

These animals, which have become among the few animals that have lived together with the dinosaurs millions years ago, play a vital role in the ecosystem. Aside from the fact that they are important part to balance nature, they also are very vulnerable to irresponsible poachers of baby sulcata.

In fact, the Turtle Conservation Coalition reported that without a concrete program that would aim to protect their population, some 25 species of turtles and tortoise will become extinct in the next couple of years. To some, this may sound a lesser issue that must concern people, especially with the world’s problems and issues that need more attention than this.

In a separate report, the Species Survival Commission’s Tortoise and Freshwater Turtle Specialist Group (TFTSG) named 25 of the world’s most endangered turtles and tortoise. With the reports from different wildlife conservation organizations, there’s really a need for a common effort to protect these animals from extinction.

A Worldwide Effort To Rescue African Tortoise

Part of being a responsible pet owner is to know every aspect of the animal that one is eyeing to take care of. After deciding that you will bring an African Tortoise, which is also known as the Sulcata Tortoise, there are things that you need to know about the breed that will make your pet’s life more comfortable.

Close cousins of Sulcata

Afican Tortoise Relatives
Where do they come from?

From its name, the African Tortoise are native to almost all areas in the northern teritories of Africa. This species can be found from the desserts of Sahara up to the arid coasts of the Red Sea. This particular tortoise can survive in different type of areas and not only in hot and dry desserts.

Where are they today?

Despite the efforts of different wildlife conservation groups, hundreds of tortoise are being illegally pouched from its natural habitat. Today, you can find sulcata tortoise, especially newly-hatched in different pet shops all over the world.

Worldwide effort to rescue African Tortoise

In this video, you can see that the efforts to keep the population of the Sulcatas are in the ideal number. Different wildlife organizations in the
world are trying to avoid this species to be on the list of critically endangered species.

Preparing The Proper Leopard Tortoise Diet

When deciding to bring home whatever type of pet in your house, including tortoise, the very first thing that every pet owner must look into is the general health condition of the animal. When brining in a new Leopard tortoise, owners must remember that the leopard tortoise diet is a bit different to ordinary house pets.

How to prepare the feeding system for the hatchlings:

leopard tortoise diet-hatchlings

Take note of some health issues

When you are bringing in a new tortoise or any kind of pet for that matter from a pet shop, chances are, these animals are poorly nourished and not getting the right kind of nutrients they should be getting to maintain a healthy body.

A poorly nourished tortoise may exhibit poor health, which is evidenced by a poor shell, obviously even slower movement, and in some cases, presence of different forms of parasites.

Give them the right kind of food

One of the best ways to address this issue is to give your tortoise the right kind of food that’s actually what they would usually eat when in the wild.

What to give


leopard tortoise diet-grassIn the wild, tortoises in general love to eat grasses and other forms of vegetation. Thus, in order to enable your new pet get the right nutrients and required level of energy for their day to day living, you as a pet owner must provide the same type of that these animals eat in the wild. Around 70% of a leopard tortoise diet must comprise of grasses.

What to avoid


no meatOne of the most common mistakes of tortoise owners is giving their tortoise meat-based food such as ground or raw meat. This is absolutely a big no-no. Feeding your tortoise with raw meat can cause different organ illness such as the bladder, liver, among others. This can also trigger unnatural and excessive growth.

Basic Greek Tortoise Care Recommendation

Without a doubt, more and more people are becoming more interested in keeping wildlife animals including tortoise. But different species of tortoise may require specific requirements that are unique to their type like the Greek tortoise care requirements that is really different from any other species of tortoise.

The Greek tortoise, or sometimes referred to as spur-thighed tortoise, got its name because of its huge pointed tubercle on each side of its thigh. Under this species are several substrates that share the species main characteristics.

Anatomy of a tortoise:

Turtle anatomy

Common Characteristics:

  • Varying color
  • Having a carapace which could reach up to 20cm
  • The color of carapace may range from tan to yellowish with a touch of black
  • Its lower shell may have a varying color
  • Its remains body parts have yellowish to brown to grey color.
  • Its head, just like its other body parts, may vary in color
  • It has a noticeable wider scales that overlap each other

They are intolerant of high humid environment, thus, they can do well even when housed indoors. But this does not mean that the keepers should keep them indoors for the rest of their life. Allowing them to roam around in an enclosure is ideal to keep them even healthier.

Just like the smaller species of tortoise, most Greek tortoise care recommendations discourage housing them in an aquarium. Since aquarium limits the free flow of fresh air, which is very important in a growing tortoise, an aquarium is the last place you would put your Greek tortoise in.


Although they are herbivores, the Greek tortoise would need sufficient amount of Calcium to support their daily calcium needs. When in an enclosure, the keeper must ensure that the tortoise are getting the required amount of daily calcium through supplement.


Important Facts About Baby Sulcata Tortoise

baby sulcata tortoise2The breed is not really the best thing to consider when you are thinking of keeping a baby sulcata tortoise as a pet. The sulcata tortoise, which is known for different names such as African Spur or African Spurred, to name a few, is actually the world’s third largest species of tortoise.

This species can actually grow to as much as 200 lbs and can grow for over a century. One of the keys to a successful sulcata tortoise raising is to know every aspect of this species from their diet to their temperate.

Where can you find the vast population of Sulcata Tortoise:

baby sulcata tortoise-map

Ideal living condition

baby sulcata tortoise-wildJust like any other animals, tortoise needs an ideal living condition where it supports their needs from to live healthy. This living condition must be the model for people who are eyeing to keep tortoise. In order to keep a healthy tortoise, giving them plenty of vegetable or anything to eat inside their quarter is good thing to keep them healthy and have something to eat.

Temperature is an important aspect to consider for captive tortoise. Since they originate in a semi-arid climate in Africa, their present living condition must be similar or at least nearer to their living condition in the wild.


baby sulcata tortoiseAnother important consideration for a healthy tortoise is their diet. The common belief of most people is that Sulcatas can eat any fruit, but this is not really the case. Caretakers must take into account that fruits that are high in citric acid are not good for sulcata tortoise.

Bananas and apples are good fruits to give to your tortoise. These are just among the fruits that contain the needed nutrients and minerals that will fuel them and help keep them healthy especially for the baby sulcata tortoise.

Other information

The sulcata tortoise, just like their close cousins can live for centuries. But without proper care and the right food, they may die earlier than usual.

Quick Facts About Leopard Tortoise

Of all the members of the tortoise family, the leopard tortoise is one of the most attractive of them all. Because of its remarkable color, this species of tortoise is considered as one of the most popular and well loved by reptile enthusiasts.

Just like the typical tortoise, this species share the common characteristics of its cousins particularly those belong in the same genus Geochelone. The leopard tortoise got its name because it resembles the spots of a leopard with a combination of black and yellow spots.

When it comes to the general characteristics of this species in the wild, they don’t differ that much as compared to their close cousins. From their temperament to their diet, they basically share these characteristics although with some variations and differences at some points.

One of the closest relatives of this species is the Galapagos Tortoise, which also belongs to the same genus as the leopard. Same with the Galapagos, the leopard can grow very big especially the males. Their expected lifespan in the wild is relatively longer than when captive.

Because of their enormous shell, they require substantial level of calcium to supplement their calcium needs. In the wild, they devour dried bones of dead animals and even dung of hyenas just to meet their high calcium needs.

What experts say about this species:


Quick facts:

Origin: Sub-Saharan Africa

Weight: largest recorded male weighed 43 kilos while 20 kilos for female.

Size: A full-grown male can grow up to 656mm and 498 for females.

Natural Habitat: semi-arid or thorny places. This species and the rest of its cousins also prefer grassy area.

Lifespan: several hundreds of years in the wild. May reduces to a few decades if captive.

Adaptation: Highly-adaptable. Some records show that this species can survive in non-arid areas outside its preferred habitat in Sub-Saharan African area.

Pet Tortoise – A Sulcata Tortoise as a Pet

Having a tortoise as a pet is quite an exotic yet interesting choice. A pet tortoise is something that you wouldn’t really come across with on a regular basis. However, did you know that tortoises have a fascinating history as pets? Due to their life spans which can reach up to over a century, some of them remain with their owner’s families for generations! Isn’t it amazing? For instance, the oldest tortoise known to walk this earth had lived to be 255 years old. Adwaita, an Aldabra giant tortoise lived from the mid-18th century (1750) to the earlier years of the 21st century (23 March 2006). He is said to have been a pet of a general of the British East India Company named Robert Clive. Eventually, he was kept in an Indian zoo for the rest of his life. Other tortoises who share the same feat as Adwaita are Harriet (died at the age of 188)  and Tu’i Malila (lived to be 188). This information just goes to show how your tiny and newly purchased tortoises can have a long life ahead of them. Given that, it is important to provide them with proper care and attention to make sure that they’ll grow healthy. Who knows, your pet tortoise might end up beating one of the records mentioned earlier and find a place in the roster of tortoise nobles.

Sulcata Tortoise as a Pet

Out of all the tortoise species, sulcata tortoises seem to be a popular pet choice for many individuals and families. During recent years, they have been made readily available in the pet industry; thus, their popularity as pets. Raising a sulcata tortoise as a pet can be quite the challenge. There is much that you should learn about them before you considering having one as a pet. That would include doing research about their diet and how to properly care for them. Initially, they will come to you as tiny and adorable pets but wait a few more years for you to behold a dramatic increase in their size. It shouldn’t come as a surprise though. These animals are the third largest of tortoises in the world. Just like any other pet, you should be quite the dedicated owner and give them the attention that they need. If you come to think of it, raising a sulcata tortoise is going to be fun and rewarding for you and your family. Even though the oldest recorded sulcata tortoise is just about 80 years old, keeping them as pets can help you understand how great it is to have an exotic animal as a companion to you and your family.