Popular Tortoises: Sulcata
- Centrochelys (Geochelone) sulcata -
photo by Shelley Griffith (mf)
- Sulcata, African Spur-thighed tortoise, African Desert tortoise
- from Africa, lives in savannas and near deserts
- Sulcata is the largest mainland tortoise, and third largest tortoise in the world
- Sulcata babies are very affordable and so cute, but they can grow HUGE, up to 24"-31" and 175+ lbs
- needs large outdoor accommodations with a heated tortoise house in colder weather
- very strong and likes to dig long burrows
- likes high temperatures, great tortoise to keep in Arizona or California if you have a very LARGE YARD
- very personable, friendly, curious, bold
- does not hibernate
- NOT to be confused with the much smaller Mediterranean Spur-thighed tortoise (aka Greek Tortoise)
- Caution! A Sulcata requires a serious commitment due to its enormous adult size. Do you have the outdoor space and facilities to house an adult Sulcata that can weigh over 150 lbs? Do you have help to move (e.g. vet visit) a large, heavy tortoise if needed? Do you mind having big holes and tunnels in your backyard?
Adopt a rescue
Tortoise rescue groups in some areas are becoming overwhelmed by the large numbers of donated (abandoned) Sulcatas. If you really want a Sulcata, consider adopting a rescue tortoise in need of a new, for-ever home. See the rescue page for more rescue links.
- American Tortoise Rescue - Sulcatas Overwhelm U.S. Rescues, Aug 2009
- Turtle Rescue of Long Island - Sulcata, Is It the Right Pet for You; a must read if you are considering getting a Sulcata (150 lbs+)
More Sulcata photos.
Back to Popular tortoises page.