Geochelone sulcata is the largest continental land tortoise with recorded carapace lengths to 83 cm (over 2.5 feet) and a maximum recorded weight of 105 kg (about 240 lbs.). African Spurred tortoises like (and need) space - lots of it. They are also extremely strong animals, so flimsy accommodation is definitely out of the question. All fixtures and fittings must be firmly bolted down and all fences and walls must be sufficiently resilient to resist the effort which will undoubtedly be directed at overcoming them! Our own Spurred tortoise house consists of a 2m X 2m (6' X 6') indoor grazing area, a secondary 2m X 2m sleeping quarters and a 7m X 4m (20' X 12') outdoor grazing area. This we consider adequate for 2 medium sized adults. Juveniles may be maintained out of doors in protected, secure enclosures whenever the weather permits, or indoors in open-topped pens. Like many tortoises, G. sulcata juveniles do not usually respond well to enclosed vivariums. An attractively landscaped open-topped enclosure provides both security and a stimulating, well ventilated environment.
These amazing tortoises, the African Spurred Tortoises (also called the Sulcata Tortoise or Spurred Tortoise) are large, impressive animals. The only larger species of tortoise are the giant tortoises from the Galapagos and Aldabras. The African Spurred Tortoises are outgoing, very tame, and are among the most hardy of the pet tortoises. Though this may sound like a desirable pet, you must keep in mind that not only do they get large, but they have large care requirements. They grow relatively quickly, are very powerful, and require a lot of food, a varied diet, and a lot of space. You must consider these needs before acquiring this wonderful tortoise for a pet. They do get much larger than most owners can deal with.
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