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Mr./Ms. Tortoise

Mr./Ms. Torty Underbitty...trying to make it in this DAMp location!

My pet human, who I refer to as Tim "Knucklehead" Kha, brought me home from the Puyallup/Seattle Reptile Expo in 2006 and I've been trying to run away from him ever since. He won't admit it to me, but I know he tells other people that I was an impulse buy and although, he doesn't regret it, he still goes around warning people about the trouble with raising my breed in the Pacific Northwest. Imagine how that makes me feel.

Yea, that's a photo of me on the right there. I think I was about 2 years old at the time and if my memory serves me right, "Knucklehead" Kha was posing me with his Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle dolls...yes, I call them dolls...he calls them action figures. I'm sure he documented it in the photos tab above to embarrass me. The nerve! I don't think he understands that I don't walk on 2 legs and that I'm not a "turtle," nor do I know any ninja or karate moves.

In any case, thanks for reading my little blurb. I guess I'll try to recap a few things I've overheard him saying to these so called humans about my species. Whatever you do, be kind to my brothers and sisters...and don't try to breed us...we're becoming one of the top "disposable" pets once people realize how big we get.

"Before you even think about getting one of these..."

Most local and online pet stores give out the wrong information about all species of tortoises. They sell so many animals and keeping up to date on the research for all of them can be challenging. We just need to help spread the education. Below, is just a tidbit of information. To fully learn about these reptiles, consider joining the Yahoo! Groups listed below. They're made up of experienced owners and nationwide rescues, who are very active in the forums.

The African spurred tortoise (Geochelone sulcata), also called the African spur thigh tortoise or the sulcata tortoise, is a species of tortoise which inhabits the southern edge of the Sahara desert, in northern Africa. It is the third largest species of tortoise in the world and the largest species of mainland tortoise (not found on an island). Read more on Wikipedia.

Is this the right pet for You? Take the Sulcata Challenge:

This is what happens to a tortoise when you don’t give it proper care! Please help my family by balancing out diet, humidity, UVB/UVA lighting, and exercise. On a personal note, please help me from Tim. ;-)

This poor Sulcata tortoise was being shown at the Discover Reptiles & Other Critters event at
the Museum of Nature & Science, Dallas, TX. It was rescued by the DFW Turtle & Tortoise Club.

Check List from the African-Tortoise Yahoo! Group (slightly edited):

  • No glass tanks or terrariums, need large open enclosure, preferably outside in the sunshine.
  • Substrate - 50/50 mix of coir / play sand or similar for good humidity. Monitor and keep slightly damp, but not dripping wet.
  • Lots of sunshine or good UVA/UVB heat lamp. Do good research on the UVB lamps.
  • Temp range - Provide a warm side 95F (35C) and a cool side 70F (21C) so they can self-regulate their temperature.
  • Provide water bowl big enough for tortoise to climb into.
  • Creamy urates are normal but if they start getting gritty, the tortoise is dehydrated. Consider soakings 2-3 times a week depending on size.
  • 70% grass or hay 30% weeds or greens (High fiber - Low protein).
  • No fruit except occasional cactus pear.
  • Avoid pellet diets from pet stores - they are made with grains and fillers, not good food.

More Information

Join the two awesome tortoise groups listed below. They're made up of nationwide rescues and experienced owners.

Comments Click to open / close comment box.

Please keep it clean and be nice. I don't want to have to pre-approve everything. Thanks!

Video killed the radio star...the Burmese star...tortoise?!...boooooo!

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