Meet my new baby Leopard SPP

diamondbp

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beautiful little tortoise. Though it looks a little different than most PP. Who was the breeder involved and did they provide pictures of the parents? The reason I ask is that a ton of "pp" babies are falsely sold as true pp just for higher profit margins. Hopefully this is not the case with yours
 

Parais11

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I did not see pictures of the parents but was ensured it was 1000% pure PP. What are you seeing because I would go straight back to the breeder immediately. From what I see he has all the right signs. Freckles skin, multiple spots on scutes, and definitely is not shy. Please let me know as I trust your judgement.
 

dmmj

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I'm not an expert (even though I play one on TV :) ) looks hinky, but nice looking tort. Let's ask @Tom
 

Tom

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The skin freckles, color, shape and plastron all look 100% pp to me, but the scute markings on the carapace are unusual and out of the ordinary. I've raised more than 6 dozen hatched by someone else, and about 30 hatched by me, and none of them looked quite like that. I can't say its not a 100% pp, but those markings are out of the ordinary. And this is not a bad thing. Its a cool looking tortoise!

Those of us who have them know the other people who have them. Where did you get this one?
 

Parais11

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There is a reptile specialty “store” in my neighborhood and he had 2 of these he got from his breeder friend in South Carolina. He was 100% positive they were PP. I can always go back and get the name of the breeder, but at this point this is now my tortoise and I will do my best to raise it and care for it. No matter what it is. I was just curious bc I also noticed the markings looked a bit unusual. I guess we will have to wait and see what it will look like as an adult. I just hope it has the personality of a PP. Thanks everyone for the compliments. And for the information.
 

Tom

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If there is someone breeding pp in SC, I've not heard of them. Doesn't mean it isn't true, just means I don't know about them.
 

Parais11

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What’s your suggestion @Tom ? Should I take it back? Or should I keep the little guy? At this point, I’m still not “attached” since I’ve only had it for 2 days. I really wanted a PP. let me know what your honest opinion is. Thanks!
 

Tom

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What’s your suggestion @Tom ? Should I take it back? Or should I keep the little guy? At this point, I’m still not “attached” since I’ve only had it for 2 days. I really wanted a PP. let me know what your honest opinion is. Thanks!
Keep it! Its an awesome looking tortoise.

If it matters to you, see if you can reach the breeder. See if you can trace his/her stock back to the source the we all got our pp from.

You mentioned that the personality mattered to you. I can tell you just from your pics that your little one acts like a pp. See how the legs and head are out while you are holding him. SA leopards tend to do that while "regular" leopards tend to withdraw into their shells when picked up and stay tucked in. If yours is a mix, which I can't say it is or isn't, it has a high percentage of pp.

You've got a nice looking healthy baby there. I see no reason to return it.
 

dmmj

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PP are bigger, hardier, & have different personalities.
 

Tom

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Okay what is PP?
Prior to 2010, there were two (...at least) subspecies of leopard tortoises. Geochelone pardalis babcockii and Geochelone pardalis pardalis. Somewhere along the way some scientist re-named the genus Stigmochelys. Then another scientist decided there would be no more subspecies. Just one species with 11 clades spanning the entirety of Africa from Ethiopia and Somalia to the north and all the way down to the southern tip at Cape Town. In this country (USA) we have regular leopards, which can be a genetic mix of several of the 11 clades, or just one. Then we have what was formerly called the Gpp, then Spp, and now we just call them South African leopards. The SA leopards are distinct and different than "regular" leopards, but there are many people selling mixes either intentionally or unknowingly. There are 6 clades from South Africa, but we have one distinct type and it can be traced back to one man who kept his recent SA imports separate from all other leopard tortoises back in 1990. His successful breeding efforts are still alive and well today. Me and a few others around the country are breeding them now.
 

Tom

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Hummm I have 2 leopard tortoises wonder what they could be?
The SA leopards cost twice what the normal leopards cost. You'd know if you were paying for them. Start your own thread, post pics, and ask your bulb questions there.
 

Parais11

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@Tom - what is the healthy growth rate for these guys? This little guy currently weighs in at 27 grams. What should I expect in the next few months. Are they fast growers, like Sulcatas, or are they slower. I am just curious so I don’t start to freak out if the growth rate is slow. (I do realize tortoises are like people, and everyone grows at different speeds depending on a number of things). I’m just asking in your opinion since you have all the experience. [emoji1]
 

Tom

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@Tom - what is the healthy growth rate for these guys? This little guy currently weighs in at 27 grams. What should I expect in the next few months. Are they fast growers, like Sulcatas, or are they slower. I am just curious so I don’t start to freak out if the growth rate is slow. (I do realize tortoises are like people, and everyone grows at different speeds depending on a number of things). I’m just asking in your opinion since you have all the experience. [emoji1]
I'd have to go back and look at the numbers. As you said, the rates can vary a lot and for a lot of reasons. They grow slower than a sulcata, but faster than a Burmese star. Is that helpful? :D

If the baby was started warm and humid, and you are housing it in warm monsoon conditions, you can expect it to reach 600-800 grams in its first year. Growth is slower at first, but you'll see the rate accelerate toward the end of that year.

The SA leopards eat grass as much as a sulcata. You might find this helpful:
https://tortoiseforum.org/threads/for-those-who-have-a-young-sulcata.76744/
 

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