By: Jason Abels – Assistant Director www.tigerhomes.org Animal Sanctuary
Well, we will be adding these cute critters to our “ADOPT
AN ANIMAL” program located on our Gift
These endearing creatures are an African Tortoise species
known as the Sulcata Tortoise.
the Sanctuary cares for 6 large Sulcatas permanently and
a variable amount
of transient animals. Our permanent Sulcata Tortoise residents
are Toby – male/85 lbs, Smithers – male/90lbs,
Sahara – female/70lbs, Macy – female/75lbs,
Sherman – male/15lbs and White Shoes – male/20lbs.
These guys have amazing personalities! Some people have
the perception that tortoises are nothing more then “Rocks
With Legs”! In fact, that perception is extremely
far from the truth. Sulcata Tortoises' posses some of the
most endearing personalities and individual behavioral
characteristics of any tortoise species. All of our permanent
Sulcata residents know their names and come running when
called! Toby has the unique feeding behavior of standing
on three legs to reach high flowers and browse. Speaking
of eating, the Sulcata Tortoise group we house is one of
the most expensive groups of animals we have to feed! They
require tremendous amount of food to eat! We compare them
to “Solar Powered Lawn Mowers”! If the sun
is shining, their mouths are chewing! A good buddy of ours
and a well known herpetologist, Dale Marantz, believes
that the “Sahara Desert was once
rainforest before the Sulcata Tortoise
got there”! These guys
really eat! On rare occasion David and I will feed our
group entire watermelons. Watermelon is not a main part
of a daily Sulcata diet due to is high sugar content and
lack of good digestible fiber. We only feed it on occasion
as a fast means of hydrating our group of animals and as
an enrichment technique. In any case, my original point
was to bring up the fact that our group of four 70 + pounders
will consume 50 pounds of watermelon in less then 30 minutes.
By the time they are done there is not even a Wet Spot
in the dirt!
I have been contemplating putting a Web Cam in
their habitat for years really low to the ground to
give you an awesome visual perspective of the worlds 3rd
largest tortoise. We hope that by introducing our viewers
to more of the Sanctuaries “Off Cam” critters
that it will improve our Wildlife Conservation goals.
So, in the meantime, help spread the word of our mission
making all of your friends and family aware of our web
site and great Free
Live Web Cams.