Leopard Tortoise

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Leopard Tortoise Care Sheet
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Image by Ross Huggett

Image by Ross Huggett

The Leopard Tortoise (Stigmochelys pardalis) is one of the most attractive tortoises in the world, and gets its name from the leopard-like spots and coloration of the species, which is particularly bright in young tortoises. This is also one of the largest tortoises regularly kept as pets, and is the second largest native to Africa, being second only to the Sulcata Tortoise, although there is quite a lot of variation depending on the subspecies – both the smaller babcocki and larger pardalis subspecies are readily available, but babcocki is more common.

These beautiful creatures can make very good pets, but as with any tortoise, they require a very long term commitment, and you’ll need plenty of space available because of their size. They also don’t hibernate, so unless you’re lucky enough to live somewhere warm all year round, you’ll need to be able to house your Leopard Tortoise indoors for at least part of the year. They are nevertheless one of the most popular pet tortoises, and can be a lot more entertaining than you might think if you’ve never kept a tortoise before.