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
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.

Click For Replies (2)
  • 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.
Reply
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.

Click For Replies (1)
  • Kaimana Misshmacon - 2013-03-14
    Yes sorry I believe your tortise was to cold...these are animals that need sun..
Reply
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?

Click For Replies (6)
  • 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.
Reply
S D Lynch & Kui - 2008-07-14
Aloha from Hawaii the island of Oahu. I have a Sulcata tortoise named Kui. Kui is almost 6 years old and we have grown to become great friends. Kui and I take daily walks down our street and every one loves Kui. People find it amazing I walk a tortoise but I really enjoy it. Kui and I make new friends every day. People stop take his picture and Kui is quite a HAM LOL. About 3 years ago I was watching Kui in the back yard and I thought it would be great to write a childrens book about Kui born in African and finding his way through the African jungle and start to make his way around the world. Well to my amazement I started the book and Kui's travels has began, it was published. Titled The travels of Kui, the African Spurred Tortoise. I have found that Kui the tortoise is a very good pet and friend. I will enjoy growing old with Kui.

Click For Replies (1)
  • ty - 2013-03-11
    hey, fellow reader an just had to say kui sounds awesome :) we have two 1year old tortoise our selves lela and wiz :) an wonder how you got to get kui to be so open an just be so close with you with you? thanks an love the book!
Reply
Lauren - 2013-03-08
I have a beautiful aferican tortise named Littlefoot (named after Littlefoot in The Land Before Time). My 25 year old baby is not only smart but she is part of my life. I don't know how I would live without her.

Reply
Jenny - 2013-03-08
my tortoise is great

Reply
Kasey - 2011-09-09
I found an African Spurred Tortoise on the side of the road and have been researching him and what I need to do to keep him alive. It must have been someones pet they did not want anymore...

Anyways, he/she has been having wierd stools. It is grey and white and almost looks like paint. He has normal stools too, so I have no idea what this stuff is! Does anyone know what it could be? Is he sick?

Click For Replies (5)
  • Gari - 2011-09-27
    Go to www.turtletrust.com
    They are supposed to poop out the white and you need to soak it.
  • Kenny - 2011-11-25
    This is because the temperature is too low and you tortoise feels cold. Keep him/her warm
    ( above 90 degree ) if possible. If you have a yard with grass on, tortoise can feed itself from this grass. Remember these guys are from African and they love heat and food with high fiber. Very little water though, even others saying so. I live in North ( NY ) and I have my tortoise, Toni for three and will be the 4th winter soon. It's hard to keep Toni warm in the winters and when the heating lamp doesn't work for some time, he'll produce such stools like you've seen.

    Let me know if this helps you.
  • delores imperatrice - 2012-06-22
    We have a sulcata tortoice and we just got it yesterday and a web site says it should have water and the other says no?
  • superbuzz67 - 2013-01-19
    When I got my tortoise (sulcata) 5 years ago I had the same confusion. I keep a water pan in his pen.. He his happy and healthy so I would say water is fine as long as he doesn't show any signs of runny nose.
Reply
Shirley - 2012-12-09
I have a Salcata Tortoise that weighs 39 lbs. She ate about 6 landscaping stones about 3 weeks ago (they were about 1' or so in size). She wasn't eating as much as usual so I took her to the vets to have an xray done ( it was very expensive). The stones showed up in the xray. I now have her on a prescription daily for 30 days to move food through her plus I am giving her fiber on the fruit I feed her. So far no stones. She eats something everyday but not much is coming out compared to what she has done in the past. From what I understand, the stones aren't in her stomach but in an area that is like a storage in her. I am concerned about her passing them. Did you ever have anyone with this problem? I wondered if you would have any other suggestions for me. Thank You

Reply
Edward G - 2012-10-30
My Sulcata Tortoises poop the last two days has been a rust color. Does anyone know what this could mean. Is there blood in it? The reddish color is even throughout the poop. Can anyone help?

Click For Replies (1)
  • Charlie Roche - 2012-10-30
    Think about what your little guy gas eaten - that is the easy part.  Also, you might want totake a swab of poop and get it checked for parasites at the vets.
Reply
Diane Sarvela - 2012-09-30
I am wondering what watt heat lamp I need for my tortoise. He has spent the whole summer outside during the day so I never needed one. Now it is getting cold out and he will not ba able to roam outside. How many hours a day do I need the light on? How far away do I keep the light for him? Thanks Diane

Click For Replies (1)
  • Clarice Brough - 2012-09-30
    The wattage of the heat lamp for your Sulcata Tortouse will relate to the size of the terrarium you put him in, but also the temperature of the area you keep the tank in. Generally a larger tank needs a higher wattage than a smaller one, but it may take some experimenting for your particular environment. The environment info above discusses the setup and heating temperatures needed for the warm side of the terrarium. You can use a thermometer, like a glass mounted one sold for fish aquariums, to monitor the temperature on each end of the environment.
Reply