Saturday, June 13, 2009

Considertions before keeping a tortoise as a pet

Keeping a tortoise as a pet.

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.

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