Sulcata Tortoise (aka African Spur)

The Sulcata Tortoise also called African Spur Thigh Tortoise or African Spurred Tortoise, scientific name Geochelone Sulcata, is a specie of tortoise known to be an inhabitant of the southern edge of the Sahara Desert of Northern Africa.

It is considered as the third largest specie from its kind in the world and the largest specie of mainland tortoise.

Size: Considering that it is the largest of its mainland species, the Sulcata tortoise reach an adult length of 24 to 30 inches and weights about 80 to 110 pounds.

Life Span: The Sulcata tortoises are said to live 80 up to 100 years or even longer!

Feeding: Like other species of tortoises, the Sulcata tortoises are also herbivorous and grazing tortoises. Their diet consists mainly of plants and grass, but only a little to no fruits as fruits may cause them to have an upset stomach. They should also be fed with a high fibre but low protein diet, and do avoid feeding foods that are high in oxalates.

Supplements: For this specie, a supplement full of calcium/Vitamin D3 is quite advisable.

Housing (Outdoors): When housing a Sulcata tortoise outdoors, you must always consider that the temperature they should have is just about 100°F (37°C) during day and 70°F (21°C) during night. Provide a shelter that is strong and would be able to protect them from elements such as predators and cold weathers. Also add a pan of water or a muddy wallow for the Sulcata.

Housing (Indoors): Since these species of tortoise are by far one of the largest of their kind, it is quite impractical to keep it indoors.  An outdoor house is perfect for this kind so better yet try to consider setting up a heated shed or greenhouse outdoors. Their basking area should be at 95°F (35°C) but when you opt to keep it indoors, you will need to provide them with a UVA/UVB light.

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Comments and Added Thoughts?

Posted by Sarah Q:
It’s so crazy to me how big these turtles actually get or actually I should call them tortoises and not turtles sorry. I have this crazy memory from when I was a small kid because I grew up right next to a pet store and one afternoon on a Saturday we were out mowing our lawn and there was this huge tortoise in the middle of our yard. Until you actually see these things in person you really don’t know or understand how big his creatures can get and just the fact that their sizes they are it’s just it’s so crazy.

Posted by Yuang Xiu:
I think a lot of people forget the fact that these tortoises can live up to 100 years old and age. For a reptile to live 100 years is mind blowing. I guess this is single-handedly the reason why these animals were around during the dinosaurs and I think tortoises I wanted the oldest animals on the planet if I’m not mistaken.

Posted by Erik M:
I’m just trying to imagine having one of these has a pet that you could keep in your front yard or something. I don’t think average civilians can have these as pets can they? There should actually be laws against average Joe people having is as pets and only letting certified Zoo keepers have them.

Posted by Warren D:
I’m fairly certain that by state law you cannot have these as a pet within city limits. And yes you do have to have a certain certification or training to be able to have one of these as your pets. It’s more of the type of thing that they are wild and this is just a guide for us to learn from almost like encyclopedia resource. But maybe I’m totally mistaken and there are people that have these has pants.

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