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Can Anyone Identify My Pet Tortoise's Species?

Discussion in 'Tortoises' started by wasgeezy, Jan 2, 2014.

  1. wasgeezy

    wasgeezy Member

    Hi everyone! Thanks in advance for your expertise!!

    I live in East Africa and after moving in to my house 3 years ago I discovered a tortoise in my garden. Apparently the previous owner left it here.

    I started feeding on a daily basis: cucumber and lettuce. It roams around the garden all day, walking around 200-400m a day and apparently loves the food I provide. It comes by my outside seating area 2-3 times a day in hope of getting food. It has grown a considerable amount in the 3 years I've been feeding it and it has become part of the family. His name is Igor and I have positively identified his sex as male ;)

    Can you help me identify the species? Where is its natural habitat? Is it a protected species? How big will it grow? How old can it become? Am I providing the right diet?



    Igor, my pet tortoise - Imgur
     
  2. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    It looks like it may be a leopard tortoise but I am not expert with tortoises. Can you post a photo of the tort looking down from on top of it?
     
  3. Thalatte

    Thalatte Elite Member

    I cant see the original post or pictures...does it need mod approval before the rest of us can see it?
     
  4. wasgeezy

    wasgeezy Member

    thanks for your reply. it's dark outside now, i'll take one tomorrow


    strange, me neither. the admin apparently can. here you go:
     
  5. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    It should be good to go now.
     
  6. Thalatte

    Thalatte Elite Member

    It is thank you.

    Wasgeezy, is he an orangish color or if you cleaned him up a bit is he more yellow? Either way I agree he looks like a leopard tortoise from these angles.
     
  7. Poison

    Poison Elite Member

    I agree with Merlin.
     
  8. wasgeezy

    wasgeezy Member

    thank you everyone for your help! i will upload some more pictures tomorrow so you get a better look at his shell. i just read up on the web about leopard tortoises and have a couple of questions for you experts out there concerning his diet and health:
    diet:
    - like i stated previously, i feed him a piece of iceberg lettuce and half a cucumber a day. i read that providing him with too much "watery" food can cause stomach problems. should i just let him feed on the lawn and stop giving him his goodies?
    - so far i haven't provided him with any calcium. should i start giving him egg shells or something similar?
    health:
    - i have 2 cats. am i supposed to be worried about the tortoise infecting them with herpes or worms? can he infect my family?
    - should i take him to the vet to check his general health?
    general:
    - what age would you estimate the tortoise?
    - is he lonely by himself? he seems to love hanging around me and my family, should i get him a companion?
    - someone suggested i clean his shell. can i use some type of detergent?
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2014
  9. Thalatte

    Thalatte Elite Member

    Diet: iceberg is rather bad for them. It has no nutritional value and yet they can get addicted to it so its best to stay away from it. Carrots are ok on occaision. Grass and weeds are the best food for these types of tortoise so if you can provide him with that as the main diet items he will be very happy.
    Egg shells arent the best for these guys so either use a calcium supplement powder, calcium enriched foods (such as collard greens), or get some cuttle bones for him.

    Health: No he wont infect your family with herpes or worms and only way he could really infect the cat is if the cat eats his feces.

    General: can you measure how long the bottom of his shell is and weigh him? this can help in determining approximate age.
    He doesnt need a companion. Tortoises are generally solitary creatures. They can live in groups of 3 or more but they tend to be happier on their own as their isnt a competition for food this way.
    Shell cleaning can be done by soaking him in a shallow pool of water (should come up to just the bottom of his shell) and then take a brush and gently but firmly scrub his shell.
     
  10. wasgeezy

    wasgeezy Member

    thanks so much for your valuable insights! i really appreciate your help Thalatte

    diet:
    i really had to laugh at you using the term "addicted". explains why he comes to check so many times a day, he really seems to be addicted to iceberg lettuce. i will immediately cut back on all types of food i've provided him with so far and let him indulge in the natural selection of weeds and grass my garden has to offer. i'll also try feeding him collard greens. he seems very picky with his diet so i'll have to see whether he'll like them.

    health:
    that's a relief

    general:
    i will measure and weigh him tomorrow and post the results here. not sure whether i'll get around to bathing him tomorrow but you can definitely expect some more pictures from different angles.

    cheers!
     
  11. Thalatte

    Thalatte Elite Member

    Diet: Yeah it is nigh impossible to get them off iceburg. I have a 10year old desert tortoise that was raised on nothing but iceburg and grapes and that is all she will eat now even though I have tried for 4+years to wean her off of it. She sorta accepts grass but for the most part I have to mix iceburg with mazuri tortoise diet (this is a great pellet food if you want to try it) in order to get her to eat anything healthy.
     
  12. Poison

    Poison Elite Member

    Pretty much the only thing iceburg is good for is dehydrated animals. They contain lots of moister.
     
  13. wasgeezy

    wasgeezy Member

    it's gonna be hard to be strong and say no to him a couple of times a day. here in east africa it's hard to find all those special kinds of foods since there aren't any reptile stores. so i'm hoping he'll be happy with what my yard has to offer.

    i weighed and measured the tortoise today: the bottom part of the shell is 31 cm (12.2 inches) and he weighs roughly 6 kg (13.2 lb). i also got around to taking some more pictures of the shell:
    Igor Part II - Imgur
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2014
  14. Thalatte

    Thalatte Elite Member

    Yep its a leopard tortoise. Good news is that they are native to africa so local plants-including those in your yard-are the best thing to offer. But if you would like more ideas on food items here is a good site: Tortoise Diet

    As far as age he is probably 8+ years old. Its really hard to determine the age of tortoises as growth rate all depends on what they eat and how they are cared for. I can tell you it has reached sexual maturity though.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 3, 2014
  15. wasgeezy

    wasgeezy Member

    thanks a lot for your valuable insights! i just printed out that list and i will try to stick to it. i asked one of my security guards about the tortoise's age and he told me that he's probably around 10, good estimate of yours, i'm impressed! still haven't gotten around to cleaning the little guy, when i do i'll make sure to post some pictures on here.
    cheers!
     
  16. Thalatte

    Thalatte Elite Member

    No problem. Make sure you have a shallow pan of water big enough for the tortoise to lay in available for him to drink out of.
     
  17. jaydsr2887

    jaydsr2887 Elite Member

  18. wasgeezy

    wasgeezy Member

  19. Thalatte

    Thalatte Elite Member

    Very cute!
     

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