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African Spurred Tortoises – How to Care For These Giant African Turtles
African Spurred Tortoises, when young, are cute, outgoing, and very active. Perhaps these are the reasons any prospective turtle owner would seriously consider owning one. But this African Turtle may not be the best choice for a pet because it grows very large and becomes very strong. In fact, African Spurred Tortoises are the largest tortoises in Africa and the third largest in the world. They will definitely need a lot of space and lots of food. Most importantly, they will require a lot of your time and money.
African Spurred Tortoises are so named because of the spurs on their backs. Found in the hot, dry scrubland areas of North Central Africa, an adult female African Spurred Tortoise can reach a shell length of 20 inches, while adult males can grow even larger, with shells up to 30 inches in length. It has a broad and oval carapace, white plaster, and a brown head. The color of his body varies, from yellow to golden brown. This species also has very thick colors.
African Spurred Tortoises require a high fiber diet. They enjoy eating mixed salads of greens and vegetables every day; with sprinkling of calcium from time to time. In particular, any turtle has a tendency to become fat if it is overfed. Therefore, every African tortoise owner should make sure that it is fed in moderation. These turtles can also eat fruits, such as melons and apples, in the hot summer months; but once every ten days to two weeks. They should not be fed to commercial dog or cat food.
African Spurred Tortoises require warm, dry environments. In their outdoor enclosures, a substrate of four parts sand and one part peat moss is a must. Put a layer of straw on one side to serve as shade. This shade protects the turtles from the heat and provides a safe place to rest. On the other hand, to provide warmth to the animals, use a heat emitting bulb in a lamp. Place it 12 inches above the substrate. You should also provide a basking area, heated between 90Âº to 95º F. Make sure you also have room for a water dish. For safety, make sure the enclosure is leak-free.
As an owner, if you decide to keep your turtle indoors, you must place it in a large terrarium – not in an aquarium. These two housing options are very different. These instructions only apply to small or medium sized African Spurred Tortoises. Plastic tubs, wooden houses, and other enclosures are acceptable for all sizes. It is noteworthy to mention that African Spurred Tortoises, like most of their family, need a large amount of UVB radiation for vitamin D3 production (needed in calcium production), and love to be outside, exposed to grass , seeds and soil. So it is recommended to build an outdoor house for them whenever possible.
Owning and caring for any kind of turtle requires a lot of your time and money. You will have to make informed decisions based on the needs of your particular turtle breed. Don’t become one of those owners who are happy as a novice turtle keeper, but end up selling—or worse, leaving—your pet lost, trying to fend for itself in the wild.
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