| Sulcata Photo Gallery
| Sulcata Yearlings & Juveniles
|Baby Sulcata growth rates may vary, depending on diet and other factors. Generally a healthy
yearling that has reached approximately 5" in shell length may be able to spend time outdoors
during warm weather. However, it is essential that a yearling's habitat be properly prepared for
safety and comfort. It's best to place them inside an enclosed pen as they can easily wander off in
just minutes. Their usual diet of green leaf vegetables, (no iceberg lettuce) can now be supplemented
with natural grass (chemical free). Their water dish must be shallow and sunken to avoid climbing.
Although they love to climb, tipping upside down in the hot sun is deadly if not discovered quickly.
Natural sunshine is excellent for healthy development, but a shade spot must also be available.
Sulcata must never be left outdoors at night without an appropriate heated house. (See photo below left)
Sulcata are hardy and sociable, low-maintenance pets enjoyed by children and adults. It's important
to remember that these pets can live up to 100 years and require long-term commitment. They can
also grow to 100- 200 lbs., so these factors must be considered when deciding upon housing or the
number you are capable of caring for. A pair is always preferable to one living alone as they are very
social animals and do well together. With lots of human attention they can become as friendly as dogs
They will come to you for petting, follow you around the yard and will come inside the house if your
door is left ajar.. Their house should be large enough to move around and must be warm @ 85
degrees. (Refer to 'Setup' & 'Care Information') Their house is very important to them and they quickly learn
to come out in the morning around 10 am and go back inside toward late afternoon. These are very
peaceful pets...quiet and slow-moving...and have few defenses other than pulling inside their shell.
However their forearms can be chewed off by dogs not realizing that the tortoise is not a chew-toy.
Therefore tortoises are not recommended for families with dogs, as dogs are their #1 greatest danger.
| Babies to Adults
|Yearlings with bigger friends
|" Hugo" (100 lb Male)
|"Kid Rock" (80 lb Male)
|"Rosie" (80 lb Female)
|"Rex" (Young 30 lb Male)
|"Tank" (65 lb Female)
|"Hugo" (100 lb Male)
|& "Tweenkie" the Duck
|Pen / Housing for Yearlings & Juveniles
|"Babuska" (Young 50 lb Female)
|"Big Bertha" (100 lb Female)
|"Tina" (35 lb Female)
|"Tank & Kid Rock"
|Thumper (male Sulcata in photo) and
his mate are good examples of how
large your Sulcata can grow. Thumper
measures 3 feet in length & weighs
over 200 lbs. The female is over 100
lbs. Although not all Sulcata will grow
this large, it's very likely and should
be considered when deciding on a
breed of tortoise that's right for you.
Even though tortoises remain tame at
this size, it's very difficult to control
their will. For example, Thumper once
decided to lift our huge wrought iron
gate off its hinges and check out the
neighborhood. We soon discovered
that a tortoise this size heading north
is going to continue heading north
regardless of your pleas or efforts
to turn him around.
|Twins from same egg,
sharing one yolk sac
|"Riverside Girl" (100 lb. Female)
|Thumper & Mate
|At this stage, it's hard to imagine
that these littles guys can grow
to be 100-200 lbs. Sulcata is the
largest tortoise in Africa (their
natural home) and the third
largest tortoise in the world. It
is not unusual to reach 50 lbs in
five years. Potential enthusiast
must be prepared for long-term
care of these unique pets as
they can easily out live their
owners reaching 100 years old.
Only the first year is lived in-
doors. After that the yearling
can be outside during nice
weather and permanently upon
reaching an adequate size and
having appropriate conditions
made safe from predators and
dogs. Sulcata are low
maintenance & very hardy pets
(Please refer to 'Setup' and 'Care
Information' in this site)