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Advice on African Spurred Tortoise (Geochelone sulcata)

Discussion in 'Tortoises' started by stano40, Oct 8, 2005.

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  1. stano40

    stano40 Elite Member

    Advice on African Spur-Thighed Tortoise (Geochelone sulcata)

    I am in the process of possibly obtaining an African Spurred Tortoise (Geochelone sulcata).

    I have been reading so many care sheets including Melissa Kaplan's that it's starting to all blur together.

    If anyone out there has this species I would appreciate their input, problems, diet, how much do they eat, humorous stories or anything that will be helpful.

    Saw stanley and Camille and there awesome.

    The one that is coming in possibly through the rescue I contribute to is about 50 Lbs., as of yet I don't know the age. Only his weight, name and that he was used in educational lectures throughout Maine. As far as I know he has been regularly vet checked and well cared for, but when I get him I plan to take him to a qualified reptile vet that I know.

    I will be applying for a permit for him as educational.

    Thanks for reading my post
    stano/40- bob stano
  2. SurvivorSteph

    SurvivorSteph Subscribed User Premium Member

    Well, we haven't had Stanley and Camille for too long, but my folks have been doing quite a bit of reading.

    I do know that hay (alfalfa or Timothy) is your best bet for staple food; add some leafy greens (collard, mustard, dandelion), hard veggies (winter squash, carrots) in occasionally. Fruit should be given only very rarely as the sugars will upset the digestive flora. Be sure to offer plenty of water... it's cute to watch them drink... they submerge their entire head and just slurp it down!

    Remember that they're from an arid region and you'll need a sizeable, heated enclosure if they winter outdoors (which they probably will need to do). They'll have a good 3-4 months of brumation, possibly longer since you're so far north. You'll want to be sure it doesn't get too damp inside their enclosure.

    I'll get some completed pics of Stanley and Camille's enclosure when I'm out at Mom's next time.

    I hope this helps, like I said, I'm relatively new to Torts, so I'm learning too!
  3. kenman1963

    kenman1963 Moderator

    IMO, this is the best caresheet I've found on Spurreds

    I would be extremely nervous housing yours in the late fall til early spring outdoors in your geographical area. I hope you have plenty of room indoors !!! good luck.
  4. stano40

    stano40 Elite Member

    Thank you all for the wonderful advise. Speedy won't be housed outdoors, especially here in Maine for the winter. Speedy will have his own room and run of the house (as much as we can let him with dogs in the house.

    I am very excited in getting a spur-thighed tort and I am picking him up today (Sunday 9/9/05).

    I've had some good reading but I have to admit that after the tenth care sheet they all seem to run together. Thanks for the tortoise care sheet I'm gonna read it right after this. I do recognize that the spur-thighed is smaller than his cousin the african spur sulcata.

    But has anyone concluded how much they eat in one sitting or do they constantly eat???


  5. Lyn

    Lyn Elite Member

    Well Mine is just a tiny guy and I am amazed at how much he can put away....I give him a huge handful of greens daily and they are gone by night fall...he grazes through the day. I would expect that yours will (at 50 lbs) eat a whole bunch....hope you are in good with a produce guy wishes...and dont forget pics when you get him....Lyn
  6. stano40

    stano40 Elite Member

    Ok, I'm gonna try topost some Pictures and I hope this works.

    I picked up my new 50 Lb. Baby african spur-thighed tortoise today and he's gorgeous.

    The only thing is it was a long ride for a 50 Lb. tort to be sitting in your lap and he decides to go to the bathroom on you.

    Wow, I've seen elephants poop smaller!

    Hope this works.

  7. KrokadilyanGuy3

    KrokadilyanGuy3 Elite Member

    Good lookin' critter.

    What modifications will you be doing to the room?
  8. stano40

    stano40 Elite Member

    The room speedy is in right now belongs to our three tegus. The largest is a red tegu and so far he stays away from speedy.

    As soon as I get a decent plan for a tortoise shelter I'll move him to the front room where there's more space. It's just a matter of how big I want his shelter to be and his growth.

    Speedy is 5 years old and his shell in length is around 22-24 inch's. With good care he will outlive me and I got to think of who will get him after my wife and I are gone.

    I also plan to take him out a lot so he can graze, this way I don't have to cut the grass.....LOL
  9. stano40

    stano40 Elite Member

    will correct myself in letting you know the correct name is:

    Testudo graeca

    North Africa Spur Thigh Tortoise or Mediterranean spur-thighed tortoise

    So if anyone body has these little charmers, by the way mine snores, let me know your experiences or diet.



    anyone know the difference between African spur tortoise and the African spur thighed tortoise, which the later is suppossed to be the above mentioned tortoise.

    But unsure he may very well be an African Spur for all I know
  10. KrokadilyanGuy3

    KrokadilyanGuy3 Elite Member

    You deffinately have a sulcata.

    When I look at a T. g. graeca, first thing that comes to mind if a drab, more blotted leopard tortoise. Plus the "Spurs" aren't as pronounced in the fore legs and from what I've seen, pyramiding isn't as promoting.

    So, prepare for a very heavy and very large animal. And, sulcatas are known to be bulldozers so anything in your front room, make sure you do not really want those items for they may be destroyed, especially if they are colored and/or in the way.
  11. stano40

    stano40 Elite Member

    I think he's an african spur also.

    Thanks kroc guy for the confirmation. Thats what I was told but as an spur-thighed sulcata. Reading all those care sheets made me dizzy and unsure.

    He's still pretty stressed though from the long ride yesterday home and he still has a real dark brown diaharea. He's been eating his timothy hay and had some greens this morning. Maybe the greens was too early and gave him the runs a little.


    thanks again

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