Tortoises as pet:
Tortoises can make interesting pets, though they
can present a challenge, due to their size and dietary habits. Their diets
vary from species to species, but all need quite a variety of foods, with
careful attention paid to the amount of roughage and calcium/phosphorus
balance. Depending on the temperatures where the tortoise originates and
the area where you live, it may be indispensable to bring the tortoises
indoors overnight or during cooler weather.
Some species need to hibernate, which can be quite stressful for the tortoise
and thus requires special conditions.
Tortoises don't interact with or particularly like humans. You must be
prepared to have a pet that doesn't interact with you other than at feeding
They also require clean fresh water and bedding. You should be able to
spend time each and every day cleaning and caring for your tortoise.
Tortoises possess very long life span(anywhere from 50 to over 100 years),
which means you must be prepared to provide a lifetime of care and protection
and also consider that your pet may even outlive you.
In a nutshell, if you are prepared to provide excellent nutrition, ample
and adequate housing and a lifetime of caring to your pet, go ahead and
get your tortoise! Pick a species that needs an environment similar to
the one where you live and you can provide the best outdoor as well as
indoor housing and nutrition.
Tortoises are exclusively herbivores. Their diets
usually consist of plant origin. You can feed your tortoise vegetables
like cabbage, lettuce, cauliflower, chopped carrots and fruits like cucumber,
tomato, apple, pear and pineapple. However, fruit should be used sparingly
because over consumption can lead to high levels of sugar in the intestine
and result in colic.
Also remember to provide your pet with clean fresh water at all times.
Tortoises live on land. Should a tortoise by accident
fall into a pond or swimming pool it could sink to the bottom like a rock
and drown. It is therefore very important when planning an enclosure for
your tortoise that it has no access to large bodies of water other than
a very shallow dish to drink from. when planning an outdoor enclosure
you must make sure that you do not build it in an area of your yard which
will flood during a heavy rainfall.
Soaking is a must affair for the proper care of
your tortoise as it helps in keeping your tortoise hydrated, which in
turn helps to keep the tortoise's system flushed. To correctly soak your
tortoise, the water should be lukewarm and no deeper than the juncture
between the bottom shell (plastron) and the top (carapace). Soak for at
least five to ten minutes each time and make sure the tortoise is clean
and dry when it goes back in its enclosure. Last but of course not the
least, it is beneficial to remember that wild caught animals are much
more difficult and expensive to care for than captive born.
Scientific classification of tortoises: