Sulcata Tortoise Care (Geochelone sulcata)

Would you like more information on Sulcata tortoise care in captivity? Sulcata tortoises (Geochelone sulcata) hail from Africa and have also been called African Spurred, African Spur Thigh, or just plain old Spurred Tortoises. They’re pretty common nowadays in the U.S. due to being bred successfully coupled with their ability to adapt easily to being kept in captivity.

Sulcata tortoise care sheet
Below we’ll explain how we care for these wonderful tortoises.

Sulcatas are the third largest tortoise species and it’s not uncommon for them to grow to 100 pounds or more. They grow rapidly for the first five to ten years of their life, but their growth rate slows with age.

Sulcata Tortoises as Pets

These particular tortoises are appealing pets to many people who live in warmer climates because the animals can be kept outside in the backyard instead of in a bulky cage or terrarium. They are perfectly happy outdoors so long as they are provided with hide boxes from the sun and places to dig as they are burrowers.

At Backwater Reptiles, we have baby Sulcatas that still fit in the palm of your hand. It is generally acceptable to keep the young tortoises indoors in a box-like enclosure with the same requirements as adults, although it is not unheard of to allow the younglings to live outdoors with the adults.

baby sulcata tortoise care
Here’s a baby Sulcata tortoise in motion.

Sulcatas are grazers and will eat plant matter in the yard as well as vegetative matter prepared and served to them by their owners. Outdoor babies generally have a hard time eating natural vegetation, so it is recommended they be served prepared meals of leafy greens.

While you can handle your Sulcata tortoise, the young ones are more susceptible to stress, so it is best if they are allowed to meander and carry on in their own little tortoise-y ways undisturbed. Adults tend to be hardier and not as bothered by being handled.

If you’re looking for a Sulcata of your very own, Backwater Reptiles has got you covered! We’ve got baby Sulcata Tortoises for sale now!

Sulcata tortoise
Sulcata tortoise (Geochelone sulcata)