Sulcatas get very large, you will need a lot of apace when they are adults.. They are the third largest tortoise in the world. Growth rates of sulcatas are probably more variable than any other tortoise. You can have a 10-inch tortoise that is 3 years old or 10 years old. Many adult sulcata tortoises break the 100-pound mark within 8 years, so plan accordingly. Native to North and Central Africa, they thrive in warmer climates within the southern states of the United States.
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The Sulcata Tortoise (Geochelone sulcata), or African Spurred Tortoise, is the third largest tortoise, and is surpassed in size only by the giant island species from Aldabra and Galápagos. Sulcatas are from hot, arid regions of the Sahara desert in North Africa. The carapace is sandy-tan to yellow in color. Each scute is outlined by brown growth rings. The plastron is light tan to yellow in color with no markings. The golden to yellow-brown skin of African Sulcata Tortoises is very thick and the legs are covered in dull, overlapping spine-like scales. On their thighs they have large horns or “spurs” which is why they’re often referred to as the “African spurred tortoise.” Sulcata tortoises start out like all other tortoises, tiny and adorable. Please do your research into this species of tortoise before you buy one. Not only do these tortoises grow very large, they grow very rapidly; up to two and a half feet long. A male sulcata has the potential to grow to 150lbs, females can get to 100lbs (but are usually 60 to 80lbs) and they DO NOT hibernate. They can be kept indoors while they are very young, but as they get bigger, it is pretty hard to contain them indoors. And they do grow fast. When they are adults it is best if they are set up outside with access to a heated shed for cold weather. Starting life off as tiny, adorable, and extremely personable eating machines, Sulcatas are loved by many and usually their first tortoise.
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Please note that tortoises and turtles under 4″ are for educational use only.