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African Sulcata Tortoise
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 Shop soon. These endearing creatures are an African Tortoise species known as the Sulcata Tortoise.

African Sulcata Tortoise  Up Close - Sulcata Tortoise Feeding Tortoise
Currently 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 a tropical 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!
Size and Scale of a  Sulcada Side View - Tortoise Baby Tortoise A Group of Baby Sulcata Tortoises

David and 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 by making all of your friends and family aware of our web site and great Free Live Web Cams.