In South Africa a license is required to keep a tortoise on a domestic property.
As with any other pet, we need to determine whether it is fair to keep a tortoise.
We need to consider certain facts before adopting a tortoise as a pet.
- Why did we choose to have a tortoise as a pet?
- That a tortoise, given the right environment, can live a long time. (150 years)
- That tortoises are not cage animals and require a large space.
- They are territorial and keeping two males in a confined space are cruel. They will fight and sometimes to the death.
- That tortoises require food in order to survive.
- They require a space that is not damp yet provide sun and shady areas.
- That they require a space free from floods.
- They need a dry undisturbed area, of their own choosing, for hibernation.
- They may drown if they fall into an open swimming pool.
- Dogs will chew them.
- They do not like being handled.
- Conservationists are not keen to accept a domestic tortoise back into a conservation area once it has been in captivity.
- Domestic tortoises, like any other introduced animal, requires a time in quarantine, in case it carries disease, before it is introduced into a conservation area. It will only be accepted if the local population requires a boost.