There is one type of turtle that you can keep is the Sulcata tortoise. They are popular with their long age and massive body. In fact, they occupy the position as the third largest tortoise in the world.
Even though they are big, in fact, they don’t display a fierce and scary impression. The reason is, precisely this animal is famous for its calm and adorable appearance.
If Sobat Pintar is interested in keeping it, it is important to understand the ins and outs of this four-legged animal. Starting from the characteristics of the body, age, to how to treat it, you can see below.
According to the IUCN (the International Union for Conservation of Nature), this turtle is included in endangered animals. Its existence has been already rare and it is starting to be very difficult to find. Then, Are Sulcata tortoises protected?
It’s just that awareness is needed by animal lovers to participate in maintaining and preserving them. So if you intend to care it, make sure you have adequate facilities and infrastructure so that its life can be long.
Sulcata Tortoise: The Attractive Large Body
Centrochelys sulcata or Sulcata tortoise is a species of land turtle native to the Sahara desert of Africa precisely in the south. Another name is the African spurred tortoise or turtle from Africa.
Because they come from areas that have extreme temperatures, are arid and barren, they have a high ability to survive. They are more adaptable to fluctuations in temperature than other types of tortoises.
In their natural habitat they will make holes in the ground to a depth of about 30 cm. Its purpose is as a shelter from its very hot and arid natural conditions.
In order not to be misinformed, find out the full profile of the following Sulcata tortoises:
1. Physical form
Type tortoise has a distinctive physical shape and distinguishes it from other types. First is the length of the shell which is usually 46 to 92 cm in size. This size is affected by their age.
When they first hatch, they are only about 5 cm in size, but will increase with age. It weighs about 31 to 45 kilograms. However, there are also those whose body weight reaches 68 kilograms.
Their bodies have a tawny color and their toes are clearly visible. On the shell, you can see a pattern of thin black lines and some are thick. When you touch, you will feel the thick shell scales.
This animal is also famous for its long life. In fact, there is also the age of Sulcata tortoises which can reach 60 years if the care is right.
In addition, if you can maintain them with the right diet and fiber consumption, they will live longer.
By nature, Sulcata tortoises are herbivorous or plant-eating animals. When in its natural habitat, the food of the Sulcata turtle is bush leaves and grass in the desert.
They will also eat other flowers such as endive, dandelion, clover, and so on. When keeping it, You can provide food in the form of grass which has low protein and high fiber.
You can provide wheat grass, straw, and vegetables such as cassava leaves and lettuce. In addition, you can provide a snack of mint and mint, grape leaves, cactus, and pumpkin.
In order for Sulcata tortoise growth to be maximized, you can provide additional calcium intake. You can do this by giving special calcium supplements to turtles or you can also take grape leaves and mulberry leaves.
In addition to food, it is important to provide drinks so you don’t become dehydrated and lack of water. You can provide it in a plate that is not too deep so they can drink it easily.
4. Gender Differences
Distinguishing the se**x of turtles is important for their reproductive needs. When they were little, you could identify the gender based on their movements and also the location of their anuses.
Female Sulcatas will generally be much more calm and composed. Then the anus is located closer to the edge of the plastron area.
Meanwhile, males will have a much more active nature. In addition, the distance between the anus and the plastron edge will be farther.
5. Prices for Sulcata Tortoises
With its large body and exotic shell, this animal is not cheap. If Sobat Pintar is interested in maintaining it, then you must be prepared to pay a lot of money.
Following is the latest price range for Sulcata tortoises that you can use as a reference, namely:
- Baby Sulcata Tortoise prices start from USD 45;
- Small Sulcata Tortoises <30 cm prices around USD 70-85 USD;
- Sulcata Tortoise 30 cm prices around USD 600 – USD 1,100;
- Albino Sulcata tortoises cost around USD 1,500- USD 2,000;
- Prices for large Sulcata tortoises (brood) start at USD 1,300.
How to Care for a Sulcata Tortoise
Caring for these animals may be spelled out is not too difficult. However, there are indeed many things that need more attention.
Here’s how to care for a sulcata tortoise that you can do correctly in general, including:
1. Prepare a Comfortable and Adequate Cage
Turtle cage is an important thing that You must prepare because it concerns their health and comfort. You can use a rectangular wooden cage or a torto table, which can be found at pet stores or online.
The size of the cage should be at least 100×60 cm for small turtles under 10 cm. Then, you should also install special UVB and UVA lamps so that they can provide a warm atmosphere.
Also try to keep the cage from getting damp because they don’t like damp weather. In addition, make sure the condition of the cage is always clean so that it is not susceptible to disease.
2. Pay attention to food
Because they are herbivorous animals, they will eat grass and vegetables, as their main intake. The fiber and nutrients found in grass and vegetables are good for their growth and digestive health.
Even so, avoid giving some green vegetables such as mustard greens, kale, spinach, cauliflower, and broccoli. This is because the oxalate content in it is not good for their digestion.
3. Take Care of the Turtle’s Health and Mentality
How to care for a Sulcata tortoise that is no less important is a matter of health. Like other animals, so do they have a health risk, especially respiratory infections. Therefore, try to keep the cage environment from being damp.
Because they are used to an arid natural habitat, the Sulcata tortoise will be more suited to a dry environment. So when the environment is humid, the respiratory condition can be at risk of infection.
In addition, try to dry the turtle in an open area with lots of plants, such as the yard. Its function is so that they are not stressed and the condition of the shell can always be dry so that they do not get fungal infections.
That’s the end of complete information about Sulcata tortoises. Basically, this animal is a type of large tortoise that can have a long life if you can take good care of it.
However, to be able to maintain it does require a large fee because the price is very expensive. So, are you still interested in keeping this Sulcata tortoise?