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Last updated on April 24, 2014 at 16:01 EDT

Leopard Tortoise

The Leopard Tortoise, Geochelone pardalis, is a large, grazing tortoise that favors semi-arid, thorny to grassland habitats in the west of Africa from Sudan to South Africa.

On average, they are about 16 to 18 inches long and weigh 40 to 50 pounds, although some reach up to 24 inches and 70 pounds. They generally have a life span of 50 years. It is brown and yellow. This is one of the few tortoises that actually swim. Truly it will run along the bottom of a shallow area.

These tortoises grow very rapidly and are social. They are excellent for beginners in tortoise care. They require little care. They should be bathed once a day, require adequate calcium intake, adequate light and heat, and thrive outdoors in warm climates.

Leopard Tortoise