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Turtles/Tortoise identification



Hi,I think my tortoise might be a African spurred,  but I don't know for sure, could you please tell me for sure?

Hi Micha,

You do indeed have an African spurred tortoise (Geochelone sulcata), more commonly known as a sulcata. I don't know how long you've had him, but his shell is already significantly pyramided, so you might want to review how you're keeping him to try to improve that situation. Also, in case you don't know much about the species, sulcata are very large, very strong tortoises, and being in Oregon you'll need to figure out some kind of outside heated shed or barn for him within a few years.  If you post back with more information on his setup (enclosure, heating/UVB, substrate, diet, etc.) I can help you make sure he has the optimum environment.  


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Questions regarding husbandry of Russian tortoises and other Mediterranean species, sulcata, and redfoot tortoises; general tortoise and turtle care; box turtle care. If I can't answer a specific question, I can provide sources for further research. Disclaimer: My advice is not a substitute for vet care. If I think your tortoise/turtle has a specific medical condition or injury that warrants a vet visit, I'll tell you so, and if possible I'll help you locate a vet. It is neither legal nor ethical for me to provide veterinary advice.


I have kept and bred Russian tortoises for over ten years and have other Mediterranean species plus redfoots and box turtles. I've worked with other tortoise and turtle species while doing volunteer rescue work; mostly sulcata but some leopards, California desert tortoises, yellowfoots, all box turtle species, red-eared sliders, etc. I don't personally keep aquatic species, but have access to a wealth of information and research to help you with any questions you might have.

My knowledge is based on hands-on experience keeping, breeding, and working with tortoises and turtles.

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