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African Spurred Tortoises (Geochelone sulcata). The
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Common Name:African Spur Thigh, Sulcata Tortoise
Latin name: Geochelone sulcata
Native to: Southern Sahara desert region ranging from Senegal, Mauritania, Mali, Chad, Sudan, Ethiopia
Size: The largest shell length ranges up to 36 inches and weighs up to 240 lbs.
Life span: If taken care of properly a Sulcata tortoise can live up to 70 years.
he African Spurred Tortoise, more commonly called the Sulcata tortoise, and not to be confused with the Mediterranean Spurred Tortoise (Greek Tortoise- Testudo graeca), is the 3rd largest land tortoise in the world. They are originally from the sub-Sahara desert area in Africa.
Sulcatas can be housed outdoors only if they are provided dry, heated housing into which they will retire at night and during inclement weather. If they will not come out and go in on their own, they will have to be directed or physically moved. (Note that while this may not be a problem when the tortoises weigh less than 25 pounds or so, it can become quite problematic when they weigh 90 pounds or more.)
A care sheet by Jamina Oomen
Note: this is a care sheet based on my own experiences keeping HEALTHY sulcata tortoises. If your animal is sick, please take it to a qualified veterinarian immediately.
In my opinion, Geochelone sulcata is definitely the most impressive species of tortoise widely available in the pet trade today. The sulcata is the largest mainland tortoise, and is surpassed in size only by the Aldabra and Galapagos giant tortoises. Adults can grow to be over 200 pounds.
I am in the process of raising a juvenile African Spurred Tortoise (Geochelone sulcata) and have researched the proper care thoroughly. It is important for you to get the accurate information you need to keep and raise your Sulcata so you don't make some of the grave mistakes that I did when I first purchased my Sulcata. This care sheet is a good beginnerís reference and might help to explain, in laymanís terms, some of the more technical jargon of the tortoise world.
Testudo graeca graeca were the first tortoises I cared for as an adult when two were rehomed to me in 1990. The female of the two was already very elderly having been given to my friend,s grandfather during the Second World War. She was of adult size then so you can imagine the grand old age she must have been.
Fall is here and we have been in a major drought. Thankfully there is plenty of hibiscus, prickly pear, elephant grass, and banana leaves for the tortoises to fill up on. Georgia had a visit from her/his owner this month. The baby tortoises made a great escape out of their lot, but it is inside the big tortoise lot, so we were able to round them all up and put them back in their pen. With the cold months approaching we will be reinsulating the horse stall/tortoise house and checking the heater and thermostat.
Welcome to Sulcata Station
This website is devoted to providing accurate, researched information on the proper care and feeding of Geochelone sulcata tortoises, which are also known as African Spurred Tortoises, African Spur-Thighed Tortoises, African Desert Tortoises, or by various other names
You will find accurate, useful information here on how to feed, house, and otherwise care for your sulcata tortoise, no matter what your level of expertise. We keep sulcata tortoises, and we work closely with other sulcata keepers around the world.
Geochelone sulcata, also known as the African Spurred Tortoise, is a hardy and personable species of tortoise. Native to sub-Saharan Africa, it became part of the lucrative pet trade during the 1990s. It has an engaging nature, is attractive, and sells for a very low price. These traits make it the most commonly purchased pet tortoise in North America.
Unknown to the unwary buyer, however, is that sulcatas are the third largest species of tortoise in the world, weighing over 200 pounds or more, and attaining this size in a very short period of time. Adult female sulcatas can easily produce 90 eggs per year. It is not unusual to see hundreds of hatchlings for sale at reptile shows.
We have many other species documented in
similar fashion which are listed on our home page, in the 8. Links - Species Specificsection.