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Hank - Red Foot Tortoise
By: Jason Abels – Assistant Director www.tigerhomes.org Animal Sanctuary

Hank is a Red Foot Tortoise native to the Amazon Basin in South America. He is quite a character and has a fantastic personality. He is an absolutely beautiful Tortoise with a highly colorful red head and leg plates, thus the name, “Red Foot Tortoise.”

Unlike the African Sulcata Tortoise that feed primarily on grasses, the Red Foot Tortoise prefers more succulent fruits, berries, flowers and mushrooms. If you think about it, this makes perfect sense. What are the native habitats of each animal? The Sulcata Tortoise is indigenous to the arid landscapes of the African Continent, so it primarily encounters high fiber grasses and scrubs as a food source. Now, Hank being from the Tropical Paradise of South America prefers a Pina Colada and a banana to a bail of hay any day. In actuality, Hank is fed a mixture of fruits, green vegetables, mushrooms, berries and flowers as well as the bi-weekly addition of calcium and vitamin supplements. Another highly evident differation between these two species of African and South American tortoise is the fact that the Red Foot Tortoise does not possess the gular projections, as does the Sulcata Tortoise. (Gular projections are common in many tortoise species. They are highly elongated scutes or scales located directly under the animal’s neck. Sulcata and Gopher Tortoises are notorious for using these projections as ramming devices and tools to flip over other combative males.) Hank also enjoys water a lot more than the Sulcatas do. We added a timed sprinkler misting devise in his habitat that he seems to really enjoy a lot. As with all the other amazing animals we care for here at the Sanctuary, David and I are totally fired up to eventually introduce a multi habitat TORTOISE CAM so Hank and the others can show you what Reality TV is all about!
Red Foot Tortoise
"Hank" the Red Foot Tortoise

Hank - Hitching a Ride
Hank hitching a ride on
an African Sulcata Tortoise
Top View - In Grassy Habitat Tortoise Front