Our expert says:
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: www.dewsburycrafts.co.za, 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
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