This page last edited on

01 August, 2008



African Spur Thigh Tortoise


Fun Facts

African spur thigh tortoises are strict vegetarians and are considered grazers in the wild.  Their diet consists mainly of weeds and grasses in nature but they do well in captivity on leaves, flowers, tortoise chow, greens, veggies, and little fruit, if any.  They inhabit dry areas of Africa south of the Sahara Desert.



  For my complete information on housing and food/water for African spur thigh tortoises please sure to visit the link to the side. This little gem is the only African spur thigh tortoise that I have. I initially got two from a reptile shop when they were small but unfortunately one became sick from some mysterious illness and died very quickly. Even a trip to a vet who specializes in exotic animals did not save the little guy.  However, the other one has thrived and grown into a remarkable tortoise. I named him Sahara in honor of his African roots. Sahara could be a girl, a little too early to tell because it is still young. African spur thigh tortoises come from dry habitat south of the Sahara desert region of Africa.


  This spur thigh tortoise is easy to take care of, especially now that he is old enough to live outside.  I had the tortoise for over a year before I let it live outside.  I put him outside in May 2006 and would you believe he DOUBLED in size in just in just six months? This is a truly warm weather tortoise and should not live outside in most climates in the United States year round. It will do OK here in south Florida in the winter as long as it doesn't get into the 30's at night. If it were to get that cold I would bring Sahara inside for the night. Sahara suns himself more than any other tortoise I have. Their sun and heat requirements are greater than the Russian and red/yellow foots in my experience.


  The spur thigh tortoise can be over 200 pounds in the wild so obviously they are going to get big fast compared to other tortoises. In captivity they rarely get to be over 100 pounds, according to the vet. Aside from setting up proper outside housing, you need to feed them every day and change the water dish.  I make sure that I get a good look at all my reptiles when I see them outside to make sure they are doing well and have no physical problems.  The majority of the time you don't see them because they are hiding. I usually only see them when they are eating except for Sahara who is out more than the other tortoises.


  I realize this tortoise will get huge so I don't want to get another one. I've heard that having more than one can cause fighting amongst them which is something I don't want to deal with either. Right now Sahara is working out great in the tortoise pen but we'll see what adjustments I'll need to make as he or she gets older.   If you house African spur thigh tortoises indoors - which I don't recommend unless they are hatchlings or during the cold, winter months - you will need a large enough enclosure, a basking area and UV ray lights. A trip to the local reptile shop will get you set up. If you can, adopt one from a rescue group and put it in a secure, outdoor pen like I have in the warmer months.


  Thanks for visiting the African spur thigh tortoise page. I hope you will enjoy the video and pictures of Sahara!





Click on Playlist to view the three movies of Sahara the African spur thigh tortoise.




This is Sahara in the spring of 2006

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DISCLAIMER:  This website was set up to SHARE my OWN experience with my reptiles, guinea pigs, ponds/fish, gardens and local wildlife and to post pictures and video of them. It was NOT SET UP to offer my opinion or expertise on ANY QUESTION that I am asked and what I post on this website should not be taken as "EXPERT ADVISE" or how to take care of reptiles, guinea pigs, ponds/fish, gardens or local wildlife. I AM NOT A REPTILE RESCUE GROUP, GUINEA PIG RESCUE GROUP, VETERINARIAN, REPTILE EXPERT, GUINEA PIG EXPERT, PONDS/FISH EXPERT, GARDEN EXPERT OR WILDLIFE REHABILITATOR! I have limited experience with reptiles, guinea pigs, local wildlife, ponds/fish and gardens, therefore, I am NOT QUALIFIED to give out advise or answer questions and you, as a visitor to this website, should not take anything on this website as expert advise or accurate information.  I present this website for fun and fun only - NOT as a reference website to instruct anyone on how to properly take care of reptiles, guinea pigs, local wildlife, ponds/fish or gardens.  I share how I DO THINGS for my reptiles, guinea pigs, local wildlife, ponds/fish and gardens and this is not intended for others to take as expert advise or to mimic. Furthermore, my political views are my own and not intended to offend, annoy, hurt or demean any person, entity or organization. I express my views as an American who has the right to free speech under the Constitution of the United States of America. Please feel free to set up your own website and express your views, post your pictures and video and share with the rest of us in cyberspace what your little corner of the world is like. Thank you very much for your kind understanding in appreciating the value and contents of this website.


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