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Aberrant Leopard Tortoises: Geochelone pardalis
Category: Rare & Exotic
Experience Level: Intermediate Tortoise [?]
Care Sheet: Leopard Tortoise
These two striking Leopard Tortoises unexpectedly hatched from a small clutch of normal colored Leopard Tortoises this past July. Their remarkable shell patterns are unique to our colony. What caused these extraordinary markings is still a mystery. Both are doing very well with the exact same diet and husbandry that we give our normal Leopards - which follows:
Leopard Tortoises originally came from the savannas of Southern and Eastern Africa. Their importation ended in 2000, so nearly all available animals are captive born here in the US. Breeders have become better at producing them in recent years, and once they are well started, they are great to keep and work with. Inside they do well on mulch or sand, and in tanks or enclosures with temperature ranges from 77 f to 87 f. A basking spot of 98f is needed. They are fine outdoors in temperatures up to 95 f, so long as they have well shaded hiding spots; and are protected from predators. Night time lows should be above 78f for juveniles and above 65f for larger tortoises. Low humidity is best for Leopards as a rule, but younger tortoises do need more than adults. We soak younger Leopards every third day for about 10 minutes in warm, shallow water.
They do very well on Tortoise chow, mixed with veggies, and will endlessly graze on romaine lettuce, or grass. A calcium supplement is important to add to their diet.
Leopard Tortoises can grow to 20 inches, and live up to 50 years for their keepers. A few have made it to 26 inches, and 75 years. Dedicated keeping, along with a little luck, undoubtedly makes a difference. Beginning with a thriving tortoise is the key; and we only offer Leopards that are well established. Leopard Tortoises are a desert species and should never have a water bowl. Constant access to greens and short, shallow soakings (3 times a week for hatchlings, twice a week for yearlings and two year olds, and once each week for adults) is their source of hydration.
The USDA requires a veterinary health certificate for Leopard tortoises (and Sulcatta Tortoises) to be shipped from state to state. The Turtle Source is now pleased to provide these health certificates at no additional cost for out of state orders. Obtaining the health certificate may delay shipping by one day.
* Remember, each Tortoise order comes with a free starter sample of the same Tortoise diet your Tortoise has been raised on - to order larger quantities, see the lower left side of this page. *
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1: We have only 2 of these unusually patterned Leopard Tortoises available:
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Pricing: 1 or more: $395.00/ea.
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