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!
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Joel - 2010-09-08
I just bought my sulcata yesterday. He seems very happy one thing I noticed is that he scratches one of his eyes. Is this a problem?

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  • colten comer - 2010-11-18
    It could be.
    I will check with a few sources to get an answer.
  • Bubblephobia - 2011-01-07
    Yes, it means he is dehydrated. Soak him in warm water immediately making sure he can keep his head above the water. To keep my hatchling hydrated I place her in her water dish every time I pass her tank.
  • Spring Pace animal care - 2011-07-25
    Does one eye look different than the other? Dry eyes may be an indication of dehydration, soak your baby in warm water every day for about 20 min, make sure the humidity levels are high in his tort table, you can insure that by using a substrate that holds moisture like coconut coir. Congrats and please join a chat group like, you'll find great people w/ lots of practical sulcata experience. Smiles
colten comer - 2010-11-18
iI have found out that sulcatas are very smart.
If they can see you throw a vegi or fruit that they like they will eat them in the order you throw them even if they have to step over them to get to the one thrown before it.
I have had mine for seven years.
When I got mine he was $400 and fit in my palm.
He was a very expensive birthday present but my dad and I came to find that they are very cool and smart pets.
I have got MR.T that's what I named him 7 years ago to remember up to 13 tomatoes in order.
If anyone wants info or just an opinion
text or email me

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  • Tabby - 2010-11-29
    Can you give me any tips on taking care of a baby 2-3" Sulcata? I will be getting it here shortly, like days. So I would like some tips from you since you have had yours a while. I have a red foot tort right now. I have been into reps for 30 yrs but just recently into torts. My other passion is snakes and Iguanas, so I am aware of the importance of uvb/uva bulbs. I guess I just need help on feed?
  • Elizabeth - 2011-01-02
    What do you normally feed your turtle? I have been giving him only lettuce (iceberg and romaine).
  • Spring Pace animal care - 2011-07-25
    Mine does the same thing Colton, very smart animals, I use Orchard Grass and my guy focuses on the bag until the grass hits the ground or its going to diasppear before he gets his share. I don't give mine tomatoes, but in the summer he does enjoy a fat slice watermelon. He's 20 inches long and 60+ lbs
nicole - 2010-10-04
Hi I live in Southern LA, and have fell in love with a Sulcata Tortoise. I have spent a week now talking with my husband to decide if one would be a fit for us. I have always been in love with turtles and have several red ear sliders and soft shells. Last week at a local pet shop I got to pet and feed a Sulcata who was about 20 lbs. We are now considering adopting a baby.
My question is since I am thinking long terms since they can live a very long time is how will they get along with a small dog once they are big? I have a shitzu poodle and I am just curious if others have had their tortoise around other pets?
Also my 2nd question is, since vegetarian they would be likely to eat your flowers in the garden.. hmm I love gardening too.
3rd. Can anyone give me an idea of what it costs to feed them?

Thank you! Trying to make the best decision.. nicole

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  • colten comer - 2010-11-18
    I have had a sulcata for 7 years.
    When I got him he fit in my palm,
    I was 11 then.
    If you get one he will do fine around pets and really doesn't like flowers much but he will eat almost any vegi
    and not too many fruits.
    They are not cheap to feed the best thing that I have figured out is to buy pure alfalfa seed and grow it.
    You said LA?
    They cannot be in weather below 70 degrees.
    I have built a small dog house like home that has a heater but I do not keep him out in his field once the temperature reaches 60 or below.
    If you do grow alfalfa you can cut and dry it in the summer and keep it in paper bags to keep it dry.
    That is his main source of nutrients during the winter.
    They will not eat grass regularly and they sleep a lot.
    But they are very cute.
    And they get large fast.
    Youu can email or text me anytime for info
  • april - 2011-01-15
    We have our 2 carine terriers, 3 bunnies, and 2 torties all hang out it the backyard. Our dogs chase cats, birds, anything, but they've never bothered our toties. As long as you have a little dog you're in the clear. We garden a lot too but I've found that there are so many dangerous plants. Our sulcatas like nasturtium flowers and you can eat them too! We live in Orange county, so we grow all our veggies for our animals in the backyard. So it can cost like nothing to feed them but seeds and your time.

    hope that helps.

  • april - 2011-01-15
    If you're still looking for one this fish store were we bought ours still has one for 80 bucks. Only weighs 4lbs. It's called coral oasis in costa mesa.
  • Jim Misiak - 2011-05-22
    My cost is very low, nothing. Rocko is 18 years old and weights 130 lbs. He will graze all day on backyard grass. We have flowers in planters that we feed everyday to him and our other turtles. He eats leaves that fall off the tree. He loves laventera leaves. Every bush or tree I prun back goes in his yard for him to eat. He never gets store bought food!
  • JIM BRANT - 2011-06-11
    Nicole, My wife and I live in SE Louisiana and have two Sulcatas .More or less our children. They bring so much joy to my wife. But there is a problem she doesn't like eating in a eatery that serves turtle soap. No medical problems, they are very hardy . They consume only about two heads of roman lettuce per day,supplemented by a little apple and fruit. Cost is maybe $3.00 a day. We have had them 6 years, when we got them they was like a silver dollar. Now they are are like large foot tub.If we can help any kind of way please let us know.We are about to design a habitat for them. We do keep them in a green house but they have access to go in or out. Good luck Jim
Scooter - 2007-01-30
About 7 years ago, I bought a 4" Sulcata tortoise with exquisite diamond shapes on her shell in a pet shop. I asked the store attendant what he could tell me about it and was told "Oh yea man, that's a turtle." I liked the creature and bought it anyway.

The sales clerk who sold me the tortoise had no idea that a sulcata would grow so quickly to such a large size, nor was he aware of its nutritional and environmental needs.

I later learned proper sulcata care. The severe pyramiding process that I thought was so attractive but was in truth a deformity and was stopped with normal growth developing after. Finally, she has grown to the point of reaching the limits of the 55 gallon tank habitat in a Manhattan apartment.

Sulcatas should never be sold to live in an New York apartment. However they are easy and prolific breeders, and the market is flooded with cheap little cute tortoises purchased without understanding the committment a sulcata requires. No animal should ever be sold to anyone unaware that they would someday be unable to properly care for it.

they should never be bought as "cute pets" and no one without experience in keeping these huge tortoises with difficult habitat needs should take on the responsibility for keeping one.

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  • dv - 2010-10-28
    I completely Agree They are the cutest pets yet require life long commitment and proper living condtions Lots of Land, warm climate, Interaction with natural world a Must! maby not during the winter but def the summer.
steve & Kui - 2009-02-05
Aloha from Hawaii do you remember Kui the African Spurred Tortoise. Well Kui has done it again, he has gotten his picture in the Midweek in Honolulu Hawaii. See Kui snacking on his favorite red hibicus flower. The guy taking the pictures was amazed with Kui and I think Kui was a little impressed himself. You can see kui's picture in the 2-4-09 Midweek in the windward section. Aloha S D Lynch & Kui
Editor's note: Thanks for sharing the update on Kui, and amazing tortoise!

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  • jessie - 2010-09-03
    Steve, I live on oahu hawaii kai area and was wondering what u feed kui. I just got a baby sulcata and was wondering what kind of local grasses I can feed him/her. Hit me up if u can
Nikki - 2009-05-10
A year and a half ago I found a Sulcata tortoise at our local parkc so I kept it! Do you think this is ok?

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  • Sue - 2010-05-20
    Are you sure it is a Sulcata and not some other type of tortoise? If it is a Sulcata it isn't native to the US so I think its probably okay, and better off.
  • Anonymous - 2010-06-16
Chris - 2010-04-03
Why do people only get one? What if he or she gets lonely? They need one more for the pair!

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  • Gwendolyn - 2010-04-22
    I can't imagine! I get all my pets in twos! Ha!
Albert - 2010-02-23
I just got mine yesterday, two Sulcata Tortoises. I need help, one is not eating. Can anyone help me on this. Thanks.

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  • Anonymous - 2010-03-29
    Try hay and alfalfa pellets.
Tortoise and Turtle Love - 2009-09-23
Hello all tortoise and turtle fans :)

I've just started a brand new tortoise appreciation group called Tortoise and Turtle Love on ning. It's free to join, family-friendly and fun.

"Faith" & Daisy E. (Hermann torty) xx

steve - 2009-05-20
Aloha remember Kui the famous Kahaluu African spurred tortoise. Well Wensday 5 /20 & the next Wensday 5/27 you can see Kui and all his tortoise friends on chanel 16 a show called the pet hui this is Hawaiian time 730 PM Hope you all can take the time to wacth Aloha
Steve & Kui