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What's a Red-Footed Tortoise?

Learn about the red-footed tortoise from veterinarian Alix Wilson in this Howcast video.


The red-footed tortoise is a species that we find in South America. They love a warm and humid environment, and are found around the Amazon River Basin.

We actually have a young red-footed tortoise here with us today. This one is quite small. This is a tortoise again, that when you purchase at this age can be housed fairly easily indoors in a basic fish tank or other custom enclosure, but they can actually grow to be quite large. They can achieve a shell size of up to 18 inches, so again this is a long width tortoise. It's one that you need to have space for.

Their diet requirements are a little different than some of the other land tortoises we see commonly in the pet trade. They do eat a lot more fruit, so they can be fed on leafy greens, grasses, and fruit with a small amount of protein in their diet.

Their basking temperature should be pretty warm, again over 90 degrees, and not getting down much below 70 - 75 at night/ Again, because they're from a very humid tropical environment, we also want to maintain a high humidity of 80 or more percent in their enclosure. This can be tricky when we're keeping them here in North America. It requires frequent misting of the enclosure either by hand, or with a mechanical mister including things like large dishes of water that the tortoise can climb into, helps to keep the humidity up as well as moist substrates and live plants.

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