Sulcata – A Quick Overview – Sulcata Tortoise

If you are either a pet owner or an enthusiast, it is likely that you know that tortoises can be a popular choice among your peers. That is the case most especially, if you want something unconventional and out of the ordinary when picking a pet of choice. Certainly it is going to be a challenge taking care of pets such as tortoises as owning one isn’t very common and might be unheard of for some. From that alone, you can easily tell that extra effort should be put for you to learn about the nature of tortoises. Moreover, learning about the different dos and don’ts when having a pet tortoise also requires you to do some research to ensure that your pet receives the care and attention that is due to them.

s11Furthermore, among the various species of tortoises, one of the most popular ones to be selected as pets are sulcata tortoises. Also known as the African spurred tortoise, these animals are one of the biggest tortoise species on earth. They can weigh up to 43 kilos and grow up to 656 mm when fully grown. Aside from that, they can live up to more than a decade, surpassing the lifetimes of their owners. Unbelievable as it may seem, but these are all facts that prospective sulcata tortoise owners should bear in mind. So, what else is there to be known about these rather interesting creatures? Just read on if you intend to be further enlightened about this matter.

The term “sulcata” actually means “furrow” in Latin. This pertains to the furrows which can be found on a sulcata tortoise’s scales. These tortoises are a native of the Sahara Desert and the Sahel in Africa. To get to areas with higher moisture, sulcata tortoises digs burrows which may reach up to 10 feet below the ground. They spend the warmest parts of the day in these burrows. Due to the fact that the temperatures can get really high in their habitats, sulcata tortoises come out whenever the temperature is just right.


Usually, they get out during dusk and dawn when temperature levels aren’t very harsh. The African spurred tortoise is considered to be a very important part of the ecosystem that they are a part of as they are only one of the few animals that can excavate burrows thanks to their specialized claws. Other creatures of the desert also seek shelter in the burrows that these tortoises dig in order to avoid the inescapable heat that sweeps through their environment. At the bottom of these burrows, the temperatures are much more bearable, which would range from around 50 to 70 F. This is about half of the temperature on the surface.

s3Being an exotic pet, there are extra notes to be taken when caring for a sulcata tortoise. In terms of housing, they should be sheltered in a dry place. Hence, it is important that they stay indoors whenever it is raining or when the weather is damp or cold. In addition, there should be a huge enough space as these tortoises move around a lot. And on top of that, they are pretty much strong, so keeping them in an area with a large space will be good for them.

Even though it is ideal for sulcatas to stay in dry and warm areas, high temperatures exceeding 104 F isn’t exactly what’s recommended for them. When such is the case, they find ways for them to cool down such as by smearing saliva on their forearms or through burrowing. Another aspect of being a sulcata tortoise owner would be one concerning thinking of what to feed your exotic pets. It is no secret that sulcatas are voracious eaters. They should maintain a diet that consists of high fiber levels. Calcium is another part of their diet.

A lack of it may cause their shells to form an odd shape which is referred to as pyramiding. Sulcata tortoises are herbivores and giving them the right kind of food is important to ensure that they remain healthy. Remember to take note of what to and what not to feed them. Some important notes to remember is the fact that fiber and having a grass-based diet is what a sulcata tortoise needs. In the wild, weeds and dry grasses are the kinds of food that are readily available to them. Moreover, too much protein, sugar and fruit in their diet is not advisable. Another thing to bear in mind is the fact that they shouldn’t be overfed. While it is true that sulcatas are voracious eaters, reptiles don’t metabolise as fast as mammals, so simply give sulcata tortoises just the right amount of food.

It is no doubt that having an exotic pet on board can be both fun and exciting, there is that certain sense of fulfilment that it brings. But just as anything else that is out of the ordinary, you can expect that there are challenges that go along with it. That is, it is not an easy task especially for beginners. That is certainly why understanding and reviewing about the nature of these creatures is a must if you ever plan to have a sulcata tortoise as a pet. If you find out that you are up to the challenge, then go for the thrill and experience how fun it can be being a sulcata tortoise owner.

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 s5renowned 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.

Quick Facts About Tortoise Pet – Sulcata Tortoise

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.


single tortoise rack1Tortoises 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.

Tortoise Habitat – Building your Sulcata Tortoise’s Home

When having a sulcata tortoise as a pet, or any other exotic animal for that matter, it is usually common or considered as a standard operating procedure to imitate its natural habitat. Or at least, consider the various factors that make up a tortoise habitat in the wild. Hence, when you are planning to build your sulcata tortoise’s shelter, remember that there are quite a number of things that you should bear in mind. Before anything else, learning about its natural habitat would be great for you to be a lot more acquainted with the nature of your new pet. Being a species of the desert, sulcata tortoises are used to hot and arid environments in the wild.

s12They belong to the Sahel region in Africa which means that they have evolved with the presence of a lot of natural sunlight in a dry environment. The amount of water available to them is also very limited and humidity can reach very high levels. This is the reason as to why they are known to be really able burrowers – they excavate burrows up to several feet deep for them to shelter themselves from the extreme heat that can sweep through the desert. They spend the warmest parts of the days in these burrows which show how they, too, can be really vulnerable from heat. These are just some of the things that you should take note of when you are to proceed in building a shelter for your pet sulcata tortoise at home. Building a house for a sulcata tortoise while bearing all of the aforementioned in mind isn’t at all that easy, so the question is, how do you begin? Read on for you to be further enlightened.

When you first get hold of a baby sulcata tortoise, it would be so tiny that it can literally fit in the palm of your hand. Very cute and adorable as they may seem to be, but you should keep in mind that one day, they will grow to be the huge tortoises that they ought to be. Don’t be surprised when you notice that the growth in their size can happen fast. Thus, it is best to come prepared and build a shelter just in time for them to have a place where they can roam around without any trouble. This comes with no wonder as sulcatas are the third largest out of all the species of tortoises. So, the question is, how do you come up with a house that will bring your pet sulcata protection and safety especially when they become mature? Like what has been mentioned earlier, bear in mind the conditions that sulcata tortoises live with in the wild so you may give them a shelter that is fit for their nature.

When your pet sulcata tortoise’s weight is less than 15 pounds, it is best that you build them an indoor shelter which would be an ideal place for them to stay in when night comes. Bring your tortoises to their outdoor shelter during daytime. Keep it dry in the inside and it is recommended for a heat source to be present. Their house should be large enough for them to be able to roam around in, a lean-to or dog house would be an ideal set-up for this.

s1Also, other than shade, don’t forget to also provide a place where they may be exposed to sunlight for their outdoor shelter. UVB is important for these tortoises as it is a source of vitamin D3 which helps in their shell’s growth. Aside from light and warmth, water should be readily available to these tortoises. Having a water bowl at a corner of their shelter will help them keep hydrated. Take note that this water bowl should just be the right size, it should just be shallow enough so that they won’t end up climbing in it. For the base of their shelter, having a mixture of both sand and soild is recommended. Moreover, even though the humidity levels in a sulcata tortoise’s natural habitat can be very high, they are actually more used to lower levels of humidity as they spend much time in their burrows to cool down. This is another fact to keep in mind when setting up your sulcata tortoise’s shelter.

You can do it DIY (Do-It-Yourself) or ask the assistance of someone else more skilled when it comes to building your sulcata tortoise’s shelter. Just make sure that important conditions are met to ensure that your pet will be at ease with its new home. If you want to learn more about the details of setting up a house for your pet sulcata tortoise, you may check Sulcata Station for an even more extensive view of the tortoise habitat that you intend to build.

An Eggbound Sulcata Tortoise

This is girly, she is a 8 year old Sulcata tortoise. Her blood value is very abnormal. She is really sick, its probably being going on for a long period of time due to her gotten this sick. I am highly suspecting that she is obstructed.  She is egg bounded, It looks like ping pong balls. Meaning she is not passing her eggs on her own. There is a number of reasons a sulcata tortoise couldnt hold on to her eggs, if she doesnt have a approriate environment to make a nest.   It may be behavioural, she may just hold them because she doesn’t have a place to dig and burrow to make a nest, thats a huge factor. If we don’t do something soon, then this tortoise is going to die.

She is in no condition to have a surgery. She really needs some blood transfusion.   The objective is to make her better surgical candidate. She is going to be able to oxygenate her tissues and just make her in general.   But where are you going to get Sulcata blood? Well fortunately I happen to have a hundred pound Sulcata in my backyard.Right now i am heading home to get Durda. H is enormous, he is a hundred pound so i cannot even lift him at all. And thank god my husband is off shift today because i need him to get the tortoise into the vehicle. Hopefully we can find Durda and lure him to the car.

Durda has been part of our lifes for 14 years and counting.   When we first got him, he was 35 pounds and we were the 3rd or 4th owner. The veterinarian who had him before me was moving to a cooler climate she’s moving to Washing state. And that was unappropriate for him so she gave him to me. I live an acre securely fenced.   And Durda has a man cave in the center of the yard.   We are going to give him some treats to come out to get him in the mood to get into the car. He needs to get out of the burrow because there is another tortoise that is very very sick that needs blood to get better. So we are going to take some blood off Durda and give to another tortoise. I am going to make sure he gets a big old salad after he made his donation. This is going to be the most amount of blood that is taken away from him.

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.