South African leopard differences

TheLastGreen

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Zvezda loves to burrow, nestling in the substrate of her indoor enclosure, but I have read paradalis won't, is this normal? (@Tom if I remember correctly, you have some, do they do so aswell?) 20211130 154140 001
Are there any slight differences in behaviour, diet, habitat etc?
(Like SA ones will eat more grass etc.)
 

Blackdog1714

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My PB hybrid does not like grass. I grow rye grass in his enclosure and the only thing he does is stop it down for his paths
 

Tom

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Zvezda loves to burrow, nestling in the substrate of her indoor enclosure, but I have read paradalis won't, is this normal? (@Tom if I remember correctly, you have some, do they do so aswell?) View attachment 336939
Are there any slight differences in behaviour, diet, habitat etc?
(Like SA ones will eat more grass etc.)
All leopards will shimmy down into the substrate sometimes, but none of them "burrow" like a sulcata. I've had hatchings of both types of leopards disappear themselves in 2-3 inches of substrate. I've never had a sulcata of CA desert tortoise hatchling do that. Russians shimmy down in to and under the substrate too. Come to think of it, most of the species I've had hands on will at least partially dig down into the earth a bit at times. Only sulcatas and Gopherus species dig actual burrows to my knowledge. There is some evidence that some Chaco tortoises do it at least in some parts of the range too, but this has been recently debated.

Generally speaking, regular leopards are not fond of grass, and SA leopards eat grass like a sulcata. Many times keepers of regular leopards will argue this point saying that their regular leopard eats grass just fine. To that I answer that almost all leopards in this country, except for the remaining true SA leopards, are of mixed genetics. There is likely some SA genetic influence in there. Also, just about any tortoise can be conditioned to eat grass. Even non grass eating species.

Other differences: Size, shape, color and pattern, behavior, personality. They really are very different.
 

TheLastGreen

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Thanks Tom! 20211129 142858
(You were right, they have strong outgoing personalities. The world is their oyster and nothing will stop them)
 

Tom

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Thanks Tom! View attachment 336970
(You were right, they have strong outgoing personalities. The world is their oyster and nothing will stop them)
When I was visiting the Cape Nature Preserve I observed them walking around going from place to place in a howling wind with cold temperatures. I was shivering in a down jacket and these leopard torts were walking around like it was a summer day. These were wld tortoise out in the wild and they would literally walk right past people, even brushing up against them if they were in the way, as they motored about. No fear at all. This is a stark contrast from the regular leopards I have seen over here which will often close up in their shells for 30 minutes if there is human movement 50 feet away from them, earning them the nickname "pretty rocks".
 

TheLastGreen

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@Tom could you perhaps remember the name of the reserve or a city close to it, with us going to Stilbaai, I could possibly visit the place?
 

Tom

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@Tom could you perhaps remember the name of the reserve or a city close to it, with us going to Stilbaai, I could possibly visit the place?
Its the one all the down at the tip of the Cape. There is a red and white lighthouse and cliffs just beyond it. I thought it was called the Cape Nature Preserve, but its been a few years...
 

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