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What's a Sulcata Tortoise?

Learn about the sulcata tortoise from veterinarian Alix Wilson in this Howcast video.


Sulcata tortoises are native to Northern Africa, and they're actually the third largest tortoise species that we have. This is a tortoise that you want to,very seriously, think about before purchasing as a hatchling. Again, they start off pretty small, but they can actually grow to be over a hundred pounds. They also live for 50 to 100 years, maybe even longer.

Caring for the sulcata tortoise in your lifetime is going to be very difficult. Most of these can be housed indoors as youngsters, but again, once they reach a certain size, they need to be housed in outdoor fenced-in yards, or in large enclosed barns.

They eat a herbivorous diet, or a plant-based diet. Their environment is a fairly dry and warm one. Again, in captivity, we need to provide them with lots of ultraviolet light, a warm basking area, and a high fiber, low protein diet.

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