Animal Stories - Sulcata Tortoise


Animal-World Information about: Sulcata Tortoise

   Not only is the African Spurred Tortoise the largest tortoise on the African mainland, it is the third largest tortoise on the planet!
Latest Animal Stories
Azy - 2008-02-18
Hello everyone! I purchased my sulcata 2 years ago from a local petshop. Once I saw it I fell in love with it. The petshop owner did not know much about it, only that it would grow really large. He told me one name, but as I found out later he was wrong. My undergrad major was in biology and I studied herpetology. I classified the tortoise as a Sulcata tortoise. I did research and learned all I could about it. At first I did not know her sex, and I decided to name her flip, due to her flipping over all the time. I live in South Texas where we have very short winters or none at all. I have a very large yard where she enjoys digging, sun bathing, and grazing. She is very accustom to me and comes and knocks on the door for food or just curiosity. She's not that large yet, but I can't wait for her to get bigger.

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  • colten comer - 2010-11-18
    She will get VERY large.
    I got one when I was 11 I am now 18.
    I named mine MR. T.
    He is now 250-300 pounds and 16-20 inches across the bottom of his shell from left to right.
    If you want to learn more email me.
    coltenmcomer@hotmail.com
  • Saly - 2010-11-22
    I'm from South Texas too, the RGV to be exact...I'm thinking about buying one, would you recommend it?
  • Jenny - 2013-08-31
    Saly I'm from the RGV, too and the sulcata s are absolutely a joy, I have had them for about 3 years. They are a lot of work, but I love them. Jenny
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lee - 2010-10-07
Can a Sulcata tortoise live outdoor in my garden? I live in California, Los Angeles and the weather is 70 to 90 day time, 40 to 60 night time.

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  • laurie - 2012-11-20
    yes but you have to keep a very close eye on them and if they are not fully grown birds will try to eat them and also sulcata tortoises hate and do not go well with dogs
  • suzanne - 2014-08-03
    I have had our sulcata tortoise for 9 years and she grew up with and gets along with my 9 yr old teacup poodle, 7 year old pug and 2 year old boxer. In fact she sleeps in their dog house with them. To say they don't get along dogs is nit correct.
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Jeremy W. Sr - 2014-06-26
I live in Somersworth New Hampshire and I have two spurred tortoises, a male that I take care of and a female that's just a baby. The males name is Sully and he is 6 years old going on 7. I babysit him in the summertime from my friend because I have a fenced in yard. The other 1 I have I'm not sure on the age, I got it as a rescue that I've taken care of and brought it back to health. Someone just left her at an apartment and she was in there for almost two months before someone even noticed that she was there. I named her Glaedr after the gold dragon in the book Eragon. They are two of the few reptiles that my girlfriend and I have. I love taking Sully to the park and watching the kids enjoying seeing him and wanting to learn about them.

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Crystal Galvan - 2014-04-19
Hi I live in phoenix az. I got two African spurrs, I have had them since they were quarter size about 5 or 6 years now. One is bigger than the other and I do see them either mating or practicing. They have a big hole that they both live in. I feed them trimmings from my grocery store I work at and water them every day. I really never knew much about them but they always seemed happy. Lately the smaller turttle has not been coming out every day and I have noticed she dug a little tunnel on the other side of their hole away from the male. She would normally be directly behind him. Is it possible for her to be laying eggs or is she too young? When they were babies I always had a heat lamp but once they dug their hole they didn't come to their little house anymore so I have not had a heat lamp for about 4 years. They seem very healthy no signs of any sickness and shells are perfect. Just worried about her not coming out, she is too deep for me to try and pull her out. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

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Wendy - 2007-11-12
we live in Arizona which is a great climate for Sulcatas. Currently we house two very large Sulcatas outside in a specially built enclosure. We used railroad ties stacked 4 high and they make a very sturdy and inexpensive wall. We paid about $8.00 each for the railroad ties and we found that they really didn't need to be secured in any way. The size and weight alone make them stack nicely. Our torts are about 50 lbs each so we really needed the enclosure to be strong. We use a double dog house with heat lamps for night time. Its easy to clean out and we replace the dirt inside when it gets soiled or wet. We made an eating platform out of 6-12" flat concrete pavers. It keeps the food off the dirt and we are able to hose it off when it gets dirty. I bought the biggest clay drainage dish I could find at a plant nursery. It's about 24" across. It makes a great water dish. It's shallow but heavy and they love to sit in it. I dug a shallow hole about 3 feet across that on occasion I fill with water and they love to wallow in it and flip mud on their backs. hope this is helpful information!

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  • Anonymous - 2014-03-04
    Can you send me a picture please? ChristieCrase@aol.com Thanks
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Lisa Woodward - 2012-09-09
I just bought a 90 lb Sulcata Tortoise. I have had her for 4 days and we are getting to know each other. She has an injury to the left side of her shell due to a heat lamp melting plastic on her. Apparently this happened many years ago. Is there anything I can use to treat this area to keep it healthy? I am noticing that red ants are attracted to it and I am concerned. Other than that, she seems happy and good appetite. Concerned Lisa

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  • Jeremy Roche - 2012-09-10
    Is the shell actually cracked?  I have seen sealants for shells if it is.  Give your local vet a call.
  • Renee Olive-Foster - 2014-01-28
    Hi wow sounds like a great new pet!! I heard Vets do seal the area with some type of surgical Glue, best to get it done asap to keep it from getting infected.. bless her heart! Best of luck..
  • Sandra Hildreth - 2014-02-16
    I also have a baby sucata. My dog found her when she was only 2 months old and the size of a 50 cent piece. She had a small cracked in her shell. I healed it with newsprint with pain men's and vita shell with calcium. It healed up great.
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brittany - 2010-12-21
My name is Brittany and I live in portland oregon and I have one but I can no longer keep it and I was wondering if anyone knew any websites I could try to sell it on or if a pet shop would buy it?

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  • Dennis - 2011-09-04
    Hello, how much do you want for it?
  • David Kinney - 2013-07-24
    How old is your Sulcata Tortoise? How much are you asking for? I live in Gresham OR.. I may be interested if the price is right. I just bought a hatchling from Turtleshack for $100.00.
  • Debbie Foyle - 2013-09-26
    Brittany, Were you able to sell your Sulcata Tortoise? If not how old is it and what sex is it ? I have a large male and am considering a companion for him.
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David Kinney - 2013-07-24
I have one baby hatchling Sulcata Tortoise. I would like to raise 2 males or 1 male and one female. Can Sulcatas coexist for life? I understand that males can become aggressive. I would like to know the truth about raising adult sulcatas from birth, can they coexist or at times do we just separate them in to their own pens? Thank you for your advice.

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  • Clarice Brough - 2013-07-26
    Sulcata Tortoises are great pets, but they are known to be aggressive as youths, both males and females. As adults females no longer display aggression but males become more so towards other males, often butting each other in an attempt to flip the other over, which can be fatal for them in their natural environment.
  • Clarice Brough - 2013-07-26
    Sulcata Tortoises are great pets, but they are known to be aggressive as youths, both males and females. As adults females no longer display aggression but males become more so towards other males, often butting each other in an attempt to flip the other over, which can be fatal for them in their natural environment.
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Frania - 2013-01-17
Hi. I live in New Mexico, my son has a sulcata tortoise which he left with me when he moved to California four months ago. Joey did very well when we lived in California, but when we moved to NM, the winters are very cold here. Anyway, I have tried very hard to keep her inside, with a heat rock and Heating pad to keep her warm. She did all right until two days ago, when I checked her she was very cold and did not move for me. She stopped eating about two days ago also. Today I ,checked on her and there was blood coming from her mouth and we now know she has passed away. We are all very sad and I had to call my son in California and tell him Joey had died. We have had her since she was size two by two and is now fourteen years old. I know that is still young, but we lost her anyway. Could she have frozen or maybe something else? Just wanted people to know they are very hard in the cold weather. Thanks for listening.

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  • Kaimana Misshmacon - 2013-03-14
    Yes sorry I believe your tortise was to cold...these are animals that need sun..
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Joey - 2011-01-15
Hi, I have a Sulcata Tortoise for approximately 20 years. It was given to me as a present in my 2nd birthday and I am now 22.
Until Last year I lived in a large flat with a patio, where she had a lot of space. Now I moved to a smaller apartment but still there's room for her to move in a sort of laundry room with a large window where she gets sunlight. Recently I've seen her very uneasy and wants to come inside desperately. We've given her watermelon, lettuce, but she only eats a little and starts moving very fast.
Is there anything wrong?

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  • Heather - 2011-06-07
    I am not an expert, but I have done much research on all sorts of tortoise and turtle species. I personally own a Sulcata- she is now 4 years old and she had the same problem. (Well she never quit eating! LOL but she became reclusive and such) Anyway, I decided she wanted a bigger home, so I had my husband to build her a very large tank which I keep indoors and she has completely changed and is a happy girl now. So, my guess would be that your baby might want more space and probably wants a little more attention! Thats all the info I can give you. Please email me if you have further questions. Ferrariangel2011@gmail.com
  • Ryan sanchez - 2011-08-03
    Make sure you give Romaine lettuce that's wet rinsed with tap water.
  • Erica - 2011-08-14
    20 years eh? Well those breeds can live up to 100 years. So it's not because age.. She's obviously sick. You need to just take her to the vet.. That's not normal.
  • leah - 2012-09-10
    I'm no expert either, but I am a vet tech student as well as a Sulcata owner who has done some extensive research. Sulcatas should eat VERY little, if any, fruit. Dark leafy greens (like bok choy) and natural lawn grasses are best. I recommend eliminating the watermelon altogether ... There are many websites explicitly saying never to feed watermelon to a Sulcata. I'm not sure that even romaine lettuce is adequate for thier nutritional needs. They are native to the arid regions of Africa and their digestive systems are not built to process sugary, juicy fruits. Too much fruit can cause chronic diarrhea which will severely dehydrate them and cause anxiety leading to death. Sulcatas also need daily access to UVB light, either through natural, direct sunlight, or through a lamp you can purchase at a pet store ... This is critical for them to assimilate calcium for proper bone density & shell growth. Pet stores can also supply a good calcium supplement ... Just a light dusting on the food about once a week should be sufficient. Also, NO protein ... They're not designed to process that either and will cause shell deformation, as will dehydration. Sulcatas should NOT have spiky-looking shells (called pyramiding) ... This is a bad sign of very poor diet. Hope all this helps and that your Sulcata feels better.
  • ROBERTO - 2012-09-21
    hi.i have a question. can i keep a sulcata in the same tank with a beared dragon?
  • Kaimana Misshmacon - 2013-03-14
    Ok..everyone..Sulcats get very big..however..to big to fast is not good. .slow down the fo9d some if their 200 ponds ar 9yrs old. I raise sulcats..I have 12 now..9 juveniles. .3 adults..they SHOULD NOT live indoors..they need sun to go through their bodies. They are from S Africa..75% of their diet is grasses and hay..not alfalfa. No fruit..and occasionally a teeny treat of fruit. But prickly pear is good. They copy what they eat in Africa. .plants, make sure their safe the best are dandelion hibiscus stuff like that. Hay Bermuda. .orchard..Timothy. .I use a huge plant dish for their water..the juveniles get a little dish. They need soakings every day or so..I do it a few times a week..they are very social pets...if you can only house them indoors..plz dont get them..I have one someone kept in their kitchen 8 yrs..shes small like 25 lbs..pyramids on her shell. .my other two are like 75/80 lbs nine yrs old..shell should not pyramid...I keep learning about these daily. I have now 10 nests around my property. .. so a sale will be happening in a few mths like 8 mths from now. Keep watching. I hope this helps.
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