The Burmese Black Mountain Tortoise (Manouria emys phayrei), is a very handsome, high domed tropical tortoise from the highland monsoon forests and moist woodlands of Burma and northern Thailand. Burmese Blacks, just like Burmese Brown Mountain Tortoises, reach at least 18 inches after many years, they prefer very high humidity levels and a varied diet including fruits and vegetables - making them fine pen mates with Red and Yellow Footed Tortoises.
Sometimes called thesix legged tortoisebecause of the long scales on the thighs of adults that resemble feet, Burmese Mountain Tortoises are very fascinating and personable. They are considered the most ancient genotype of tortoise still living, so in this species, you really do have a prehistoric animal.
Burmese Mountain Tortoises are quite active and will race to food as soon as they see it or smell it. They also learn to run to their keepers on sight. We feed our's veggies, fruit, dark leafy greens, mushrooms, cactus pads and tortoise diet mixed with a calcium supplement. Precipitation inspires feeding, and we also soak ours 4 - 5 times each week in warm shallow water. High humidity needs to go hand in hand with good ventilation and fresh air exchange. Full spectrum lighting, or out door sunlight is fine so long as much of their cage is shaded. They make good use of any hiding places provided for them.
Juveniles often start out shy, emerging from hiding only to eat and bask, but as they grow, they quickly show a great deal of curiosity and will often approach to see what you are doing in their pen. Each develops their own distinctive personality and mannerisms. In the wild their numbers are dwindling due to collection for the Chinese food markets and habitat destruction. A few good US breeders have been working diligently with this species for many years to the point where they are now available for keepers to appreciate and enjoy.