Sulcata Tortoise

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Sulcata Tortoise

Scientific Name

  • The scientific name of Sulcata Tortoise is Geochelone sulcata


  • Also known as African Spurred Tortoise or Grooved Tortoise.
  • African Spurred Tortoise or Grooved Tortoise is one of the most famous and popular pet tortoises in the world.
  • It is active, easy-going, hardy and easy to be kept healthily if enough space if provided.
  • This tortoise is the world’s 3rd largest tortoise.
  • CITES listing: Class II (01/07/1975).


  • The tortoises are found in Central Africa, from Southern Sahara, Senegal, Mauritania, Mali, Nigeria, Sudan, Chad to Ethiopia, Egypt.


  • Mating age is from 12 – 15 years.


  • Grow up to 36 inches (90cm) in length.
  • Weighs up to 150 lbs (68kgs).
  • Largest in record is 42 inches (1.05meters) and 232 lbs (105kgs), in Giza Zoological Gardens, Eygpt, 1925.

Life Span

  • Their lifespan is about 30 – 50 years.
  • Oldest in record is 54 years (in Giza Zoological Gardens, Egypt, 1986).


  • They are herbivorous. They eat grass, leafy greens such as mustards, collards, dandelions, turnips, hibiscus, sprouts, kales.
  • They occasionally Pears, Carrots, Apples (with skin), Peaches, Beans (with skin), Peas (with skin), Almonds etc.
  • Never feed on very Juicy Fruits like tomato, Bananas, Cabbages, Cucumbers, Bok Choy, Broccoli, etc.

Habitat and Vivarium Housing

  • Terrestrial; Arid grasslands.
  • Sulcata tortoise terrarium or tank ambient temperature should be at 72°F -85°F.
  • Basking area at 85°F -89°F.
  • UVA and UVB lighting is essential for shell development.

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