5 Year Member
Platinum Tortoise Club
- Jan 17, 2012
- Location (City and/or State)
- Sacramento, CA (Central Valley)
back in the mid 80's and early 90's I made friends with a guy from Africa who did import some various things. He agreed to try to get some tortoises for me. His contacts did end up getting me a few Leopards but the process took a long time. I asked him to get me any info he could about where they came from, the habitat, etc. We tried to get some sulcatas the early 90's when I first started seeing some. Because of shipping, I was wanting smaller, yet well started juveniles and wanted smooth, wild caught back then. All the sources he spoke with told him small was very hard to find. Most were larger that were pulled from burrows, and never got small ones that way. A few mentioned rarely finding yearlings and when they did, it was several at a time all in the same location, and they learned to dig around when the found one as others would be nearby. Never did get any from these sources, but did end up with a nice adult pair from Niger.I've never seen anything written on wild baby or juvenile sulcatas. Where are you getting this info? I wanna read it too!!!
All this was anecdotal, and not verified. Very interesting to me. But when I first read THE CRYING TORTOISE, I was struck with some of his comments about juveniles:
From Chapter 6-1 -
"The young tortoises benefit from the first rains, and especially from the fast growing plants on which they feed and take water in abundance. Also, the young can bury themselves more easily, thus avoiding certain predators..."
Later in same chapter -
"Conditions in the wild vary from year to year, and animals can suffer from unexpected droughts, serious fires, a reduced vegetal carpet, etc. A new-born tortoise weighing 50 g will reach 200 g after four months. and I kg by the end of the year. When two years old it might weigh 3 kg. and 6 kg after three years. It is at this age that the young tortoise will dig an individual burrow. thus escaping from most predators."
From Chapter 6-4 -
"The juveniles hide, often in small groups, under leaves or in natural hollows. They only excavate in autumn, often together, forming recesses that are enlarged holes, rather than real burrows. "
That's a few of the quotes I could quickly find that go towards this conversation.