Posted by: New Tortoise | 2004/10/28

How to care for a Tortoise?


My 3 yr old son has just inherited a tortoise but we have no idea how to take care of the animal. What do we feed it? How often? Does it have any other special requirements? What size roaming area does it require? Does it carry any potentially dangerous viruses? What are it's natural predators. I would appreciate any information in this regard.


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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberVet

To keep any indigenous tortoise one needs a permit from nature conservation. The correct diet will very much depend on the species of tortoise you have - for example hinged tortoised need very specialised diets, otherwise their hinges will fuse. Please do not feed only lettuce and cucumber. A good site to get diet and other information is:, which also has links to a variety of other tortoise sites, and rehabilitation facilities (where the tortoise will be released into a safe natural environment again). Please keep the tortoise safe from dogs - we see chewed up tortoises every year, and often end up having to euthenase them due to the severe damage done to lungs and internal organs. All reptiles can carry the bacteria salmonella, that can cause severe disease in young children.

Dr Willemien van Wyk
Bird and exotic animal veterinarian

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

Our users say:
Posted by: Davina | 2004/10/29

Where did you son get him from?

Dogs are definitely the biggest predator, in fact animal welfare has sent out many desperate plea's to the public, not to take tortoises, from their natural habitat.

It is considered animal abuse to do so because a lot of the time they die horrible deaths

Reply to Davina

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