Leopard Tortoise: Footage, Information, Food plan, & Care Information

leopard tortoise walking on the ground

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The Leopard Tortoise is taken into account one of the crucial lovely tortoises round. They get extraordinarily massive, weighing as much as 118 kilos. Their shells are attractively marked, which makes them one of many extra standard pet species, too. The markings on their shell resemble Leopard print, which is how they bought their identify.

Dimension: Giant
Weight: 33–118 kilos
Lifespan: 80–100 years
Appropriate for: Skilled tortoise keepers with a big out of doors enclosure and a heat local weather
Temperament: Docile and quiet

Whereas this tortoise could be very lovely, that doesn’t imply that they’re appropriate for everybody. As a result of they get so large, they require lots of labor and area. They’re finest fitted to out of doors enclosures in hotter climates. Retaining them inside is sort of unimaginable.

Plus, they will reside as much as 100 years with ease. That’s longer than most individuals, so that you’ll want to contemplate who will handle the tortoise after you’re gone, too. This animal is a multi-generational dedication.

Leopard Tortoise Traits

How A lot Do These Tortoises Price?

The price of a Leopard Tortoise usually ranges from $350 to $7,000. The breeder, age, and high quality of the tortoise all issue into the value. The subspecies additionally issues, with rarer variants being costlier.

You must solely buy from a good breeder, because the cautious breeding of those tortoises is essential for his or her general well-being.

leopard tortoise walking on grass
Picture Credit score: Beate Wolter, Shutterstock

Leopard Tortoise Habits

These tortoises are gradual, quiet, and unaggressive. They’re good-natured animals that by no means imply any hurt. Subsequently, they’re typically docile pets, although they aren’t essentially the most thrilling. They don’t like a lot dealing with and can retreat into their shells if overstimulated. They’re a pet that a lot prefers being watched.

These tortoises are energetic in the course of the day, particularly within the morning earlier than it will get too sizzling. Whereas they do finest in hotter climates, they don’t essentially like very popular climate. As a substitute, they search shelter in the course of the hottest elements of the day and fall asleep early to keep away from the chilly of the evening.

For essentially the most half, these tortoises spend their time consuming. They’re a grazing species that eat a spread of various grasses. They don’t make nests, however they’ll reside within the deserted holes made by different mammals. They solely dig holes to put their eggs, to not reside in.

Do These Tortoises Make Good Pets?

As docile, laidback animals, Leopard Tortoises could make first rate pets. Nevertheless, there are numerous issues you need to think about earlier than adopting one.

Firstly, they’re very massive and long-lived animals. Subsequently, they want loads of area and care. Moreover, they’re finest saved outdoors and wish hotter temperatures they usually do finest when housed in hotter climates.

These tortoises additionally don’t like frequent dealing with. Subsequently, they aren’t finest for these on the lookout for a really hands-on pet. They can’t be housed collectively, both, until it’s throughout mating season.

a child holding a leopard tortoise
Picture Credit score: Cloudy Design, Shutterstock

Leopard Tortoise Enclosure Mates

These tortoises needs to be saved alone with out some other animals. They are often territorial in opposition to different tortoises, in order that they do finest because the solely pet of their enclosure. Moreover, they want loads of room. So, if you happen to began including different animals, you’d must develop the enclosure much more.

Care Sheet & Habitat Setup

Mild Necessities

These tortoises have to be saved outdoors as a lot as potential. It really works finest if they’re uncovered to UV gentle from the solar, which is crucial for his or her well being and shell growth. You may as well use mercury vapor lamps, which offer warmth. They need to get no less than 12 hours of daylight, although they need to even be given a interval of darkness.

You should definitely present the tortoise with a basking spot, as they want one to manage their physique temperature.


Leopard Tortoises have to be saved outdoors or inside in a big enclosure. They can’t be saved in a tank, as they’re just too massive. Their enclosure ought to have strong sides and be fenced in to forestall predation. Bigger is best, because the tortoise ought to ideally have sufficient room to graze, too.

You’ll want an space of a number of sq. toes to deal with these tortoises correctly. Because the animal grows, it’ll want extra room.

leopard tortoise in the enclosure
Picture Credit score: S.Candide, Shutterstock


As a grazing species, these tortoises want a food plan of grass, weeds, and flowers to thrive. They may naturally graze on the crops inside their enclosure, so they need to be protected for them to eat. Alfalfa, clover, dandelion, and hibiscus are all widespread.

Think about taller crops, too, as these tortoises additionally like resting within the shade.


You should use no matter substrate can develop crops. A mix of sand and peat moss or potting soil can be utilized. Typically, dust from outdoors is appropriate if you happen to’re conserving your tortoise outdoors. There is no such thing as a want so as to add one other substrate.

Encourage grass progress, which offers shelter and meals for the tortoise. Wooden chips and different substrates that may trigger impaction ought to by no means be used.

Issues to Know When Proudly owning a Leopard Tortoise

Meals & Food plan Necessities

Leopard Tortoises are herbivores that want a high-fiber food plan with little protein. They need to eat principally grasses, hay, and weeds. You may give them fruits and veggies as occasional treats, however these can add an excessive amount of sugar to their food plan. Keep away from meals which can be excessive in phosphorus, oxalates, and citric acid.

They normally want a calcium and vitamin complement to forestall shell deformities and different well being points. You may give them cuttlebone, eggshells, or powered dietary supplements to extend their meals consumption. You must give them vitamin D3, too, which could be obtained by way of a complement or UVB gentle.

You must present them entry to contemporary water always. They need to have a shallow dish to drink out of and soak in, however don’t fill it up a lot that they might drown.

leopard tortoise walking on dried leaves
Picture Credit score: Marieke Peche, Shutterstock

Dimension & Development Chart

The typical full-grown Leopard Tortoise is 16 inches measured from head to tail. Nevertheless, they will grow to be as massive as 28 inches, particularly in captivity when correctly cared for. They are often round 40 kilos when absolutely grown, however some can get as large as 88 and even over 100 kilos.

Tortoises have a reasonable progress price and can attain their full grownup dimension in 15 years or so. Their progress will likely be quickest when they’re youthful. Then, it’ll begin to decelerate a bit.

Lifespan and Well being Situations

These tortoises can reside for as much as 100 years in captivity, although some solely reside nearer to 50 years. Within the wild, their lifespan is commonly shorter resulting from environmental elements and predation.

Typically, Leopard Tortoises are hardy and resilient animals. Nevertheless, they will endure from some well being circumstances. Metabolic bone illness is a typical downside for pet tortoises and happens when the tortoise doesn’t get sufficient calcium or vitamin D. Supplementation is advisable, and the tortoise wants a balanced food plan.

Respiratory infections that have an effect on the lungs and airways may happen. These may end up from micro organism, viruses, and parasites. Typically, they’re prompted not directly by a moist or soiled enclosure. Ample air flow and temperature are required to forestall these infections.

Shell rot can happen if the tortoise isn’t supplied with the correct enclosure. This illness could be extraordinarily critical and causes a turtle’s shell to melt, discolor, and crack.

Severe Situations

  • Metabolic bone illness

  • Respiratory infections

  • Shell rot

3 Little-Identified Information About Leopard Tortoises

1. They’ll swim!

Whereas they will’t swim very nicely, Leopard Tortoises can float nicely as a result of sizable lung area of their massive, domed shell. They’ll additionally keep underwater for about 10 minutes.

2. They’ve unusually formed legs and toes.

Their legs are club-shaped they usually have pigeon toes and nails. These features help them move quickly and maneuver over rocky terrain. They’ll additionally climb and even dash when scared.

leopard tortoise in a terrarium
Picture Credit score: Lapis2380, Shutterstock

3. They reside in deserted holes.

While they will dig holes to lay their eggs, they don’t dig their very own burrows. As a substitute, they use the deserted holes of different animals.

Closing Ideas

This attention-grabbing tortoise is rising an increasing number of standard as a pet. Nevertheless, you need to rigorously think about their lengthy lifespan and big dimension earlier than adopting one. They need a large area to live in, which usually requires a fenced-in space outdoors. That you must reside in a spot that’s heat sufficient to accommodate these tortoises, too.

Plus, they want a lot of care over a really lengthy interval. Some could reside for over 100 years!

Featured Picture Credit score: David Havel, Shutterstock

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