Which species has more personality?

xphare

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Just wanted to start a discussion on which large species of tortoise has the best personality? I would love to hear your stories. I am especially curious to read how Aldabras, Sudanese sulcatas, and SA leopards compare to each other so if you have experience with those species please share!
 

Yvonne G

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I had aldabran tortoises from hatch to about seventeen years of age. They were very tame and followed people around the yard looking for hand outs or neck rubs.
 

xphare

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I had aldabran tortoises from hatch to about seventeen years of age. They were very tame and followed people around the yard looking for hand outs or neck rubs.
Thats great to hear. Do you not have them anymore?
 

Tom

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There is no species more personable than a sulcata in my experience. We can all debate this all day long, but nothing compares to a sulcata when it comes to personality. Their size and destructiveness just makes them unsuitable for the majority of people. SA leopards get big, but still manageable, and they are much more outgoing and unafraid than regular leopards, plus they don't dig and destroy stuff like a sulcata. Just like a sulcata, grass and grass hay should be a large pat of the diet for SA leopards, which makes them easy to care for. The Aldabras I've been around have all been quite shy in comparison.
 

Yvonne G

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Thats great to hear. Do you not have them anymore?
They got too big for me to safely handle. Occasionally one of them didn't go into the shelter at night and if I was unable to lead them with the "carrot (read strawberry) on a stick method it was impossible for me to move them.
 

xphare

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There is no species more personable than a sulcata in my experience. We can all debate this all day long, but nothing compares to a sulcata when it comes to personality. Their size and destructiveness just makes them unsuitable for the majority of people. SA leopards get big, but still manageable, and they are much more outgoing and unafraid than regular leopards, plus they don't dig and destroy stuff like a sulcata. Just like a sulcata, grass and grass hay should be a large pat of the diet for SA leopards, which makes them easy to care for. The Aldabras I've been around have all been quite shy in comparison.
Thats good to hear! I am only concerned with digging but you mentioned before that your male Sudanese doesn't dig so there is still hope. :D
 

xphare

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They got too big for me to safely handle. Occasionally one of them didn't go into the shelter at night and if I was unable to lead them with the "carrot (read strawberry) on a stick method it was impossible for me to move them.
You make a very good point. That is something for me to consider if they are not cooperating. Aldabras are not cheap either so there's that.
 

Tom

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Thats good to hear! I am only concerned with digging but you mentioned before that your male Sudanese doesn't dig so there is still hope. :D
Well "doesn't dig" is a relative term when talking about sulcatas. The female tore sh*t up worse than any sulcata I've ever had. The male only dug once in a while and wasn't a maniac about it, much like all my other sulcatas, but the male did dig a burrow for summertime. He did it in the area that I pre-started for him, so I was pretty happy about that.
 

xphare

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Well "doesn't dig" is a relative term when talking about sulcatas. The female tore sh*t up worse than any sulcata I've ever had. The male only dug once in a while and wasn't a maniac about it, much like all my other sulcatas, but the male did dig a burrow for summertime. He did it in the area that I pre-started for him, so I was pretty happy about that.
Can you persuade them to not dig by providing a shelter?
 

MPappagallo

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Just wanted to start a discussion on which large species of tortoise has the best personality? I would love to hear your stories. I am especially curious to read how Aldabras, Sudanese sulcatas, and SA leopards compare to each other so if you have experience with those species please share!
I have sulcatas (babies only) and a couple of adult leoaprds. I have been around many large adult sulcatas and can say that the ones I was around were very friendly and would follow me around constantly. With that being said, my adult leopards do the same thing...and they will actually walk up and bump into my leg when I am standing or sitting outside until I rub their head and their shell. In my experience, my male leopard is probably the friendliest tortie I have ever had. He is literally like a puppy that craves constant attention. This is a pic of him bumping into my leg when I was outside....and one of him coming over to "help" when we were building an outdoor enclosure.
 

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xphare

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I have sulcatas (babies only) and a couple of adult leoaprds. I have been around many large adult sulcatas and can say that the ones I was around were very friendly and would follow me around constantly. With that being said, my adult leopards do the same thing...and they will actually walk up and bump into my leg when I am standing or sitting outside until I rub their head and their shell. In my experience, my male leopard is probably the friendliest tortie I have ever had. He is literally like a puppy that craves constant attention. This is a pic of him bumping into my leg when I was outside....and one of him coming over to "help" when we were building an outdoor enclosure.
Is your male leopard a P. babcocki? That is a cool story to read so thank you for sharing!
 

Tom

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Can you persuade them to not dig by providing a shelter?
All of mine have shelters. In some cases, some of the time, they just don't dig. In other seemingly similar cases, they dig a lot. Sometimes they never dig, and then one day, they dig. Just no way to predict or prevent it.

I have one female that has never tried to dig. I have another that digs a little bit once or twice a year, but is easily persuaded to stop by moving her away from that area, filling in the part she dug, and covering the area with plywood or soaking tubs for a couple of weeks. Its highly variable. Some of them go their whole lives and never try to dig. Others dig non-stop every day, no matter what you do. Most are in between these two extremes, and mine have run the entire spectrum.
 

xphare

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All of mine have shelters. In some cases, some of the time, they just don't dig. In other seemingly similar cases, they dig a lot. Sometimes they never dig, and then one day, they dig. Just no way to predict or prevent it.

I have one female that has never tried to dig. I have another that digs a little bit once or twice a year, but is easily persuaded to stop by moving her away from that area, filling in the part she dug, and covering the area with plywood or soaking tubs for a couple of weeks. Its highly variable. Some of them go their whole lives and never try to dig. Others dig non-stop every day, no matter what you do. Most are in between these two extremes, and mine have run the entire spectrum.
Do you ever worry about the burrow collapsing?
 

Tom

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Do you ever worry about the burrow collapsing?
No. Even if it did, they'd just dig or walk out of the loose dirt. To say they are powerful bulldozers doesn't even begin to describe their earth moving skills. The only time it could be a problem is if it happened when it was cold, but I don't let them go underground once the weather starts to cool in fall.
 

MPappagallo

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Is your male leopard a P. babcocki? That is a cool story to read so thank you for sharing!
To be honest, I am not positive. The person I got him from bought him as a hatchling about 7 years ago. He was told it was a P Babcocki at the time, but he was new to tortoise keeping, so he didn't know the difference. I've had him about a year, and he is seriously like a puppy. His name is Clyde, and he is such a sweetheart....just follows us around the yard....tries to come up our back steps when we go inside, etc. I bring him in sometimes, and he makes himself at home. He gets along with our two small dogs, loves being rubbed and scratched, and will even do a little butt wiggle when you scratch his shell just right. I posted pics of him on several forums, and I got several different opinions on whether he was a PB or not, so I can't say for sure at this point. LOL Here's a couple of pics....What do you think? I wish the previous owner had some baby pics available because it is easier to tell when they are babies. (He had to give him up because he is an older gentleman that could no longer handle him) I know if they have two dots, they are more likely PB, and it sorta looks like he probably had two dots....but again, I'm not positive.

Clyde 8-22-19 1.jpg Clyde Bath 11-16-19 4.jpg Clyde and Mildred First Meeting 11-27-19 2.jpg
 

xphare

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To be honest, I am not positive. The person I got him from bought him as a hatchling about 7 years ago. He was told it was a P Babcocki at the time, but he was new to tortoise keeping, so he didn't know the difference. I've had him about a year, and he is seriously like a puppy. His name is Clyde, and he is such a sweetheart....just follows us around the yard....tries to come up our back steps when we go inside, etc. I bring him in sometimes, and he makes himself at home. He gets along with our two small dogs, loves being rubbed and scratched, and will even do a little butt wiggle when you scratch his shell just right. I posted pics of him on several forums, and I got several different opinions on whether he was a PB or not, so I can't say for sure at this point. LOL Here's a couple of pics....What do you think? I wish the previous owner had some baby pics available because it is easier to tell when they are babies. (He had to give him up because he is an older gentleman that could no longer handle him) I know if they have two dots, they are more likely PB, and it sorta looks like he probably had two dots....but again, I'm not positive.
I am not well versed enough to determine if he is a p.pardalis or not. @Tom what are your thoughts? Based on the way you described his personality, it sounds like he isn't a 'normal' leopard haha
 

Tom

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If someone has a SA leopard, they know it. They cost about double, and the people breeding them pure are pretty proud of it. They are special.

They started importing leopard tortoises into this country in the 60s and stopped in 1998. For all those years, most people simply put leopards with leopards with no regard to their origin or type. Its a mess now. The vast majority of "regular" leopards are a mix of all sorts of different genetics from throughout the extremely large natural range. This is why you will sometimes see traits of SA leopards in the "regular" leopards.
 

NorCal tortoise guy

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I have both sultatas and aldabras and I think they are both good options I would not willingly stop keeping ether. My aldaras are just small yet so i cant say it a fair comparison but I think they are a little more out going then my sulcatas. they will come to the front of the cage to greet me at bath time (maybe they just like baths) were as my young sulcatas will even at times seem to run from me haha. I would say all my sulcatas large and small like me when I have food for them and when I don't they seem indifferent to me. there seems to be no fear in them that is for sure.
 

Canadian Mojo

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I have sulcatas (babies only) and a couple of adult leoaprds. I have been around many large adult sulcatas and can say that the ones I was around were very friendly and would follow me around constantly. With that being said, my adult leopards do the same thing...and they will actually walk up and bump into my leg when I am standing or sitting outside until I rub their head and their shell. In my experience, my male leopard is probably the friendliest tortie I have ever had. He is literally like a puppy that craves constant attention. This is a pic of him bumping into my leg when I was outside....and one of him coming over to "help" when we were building an outdoor enclosure.
:rolleyes: Sounds like our redfoot. If I have to lay down inside his indoor enclosure to do some work he will climb right up my legs to see what I'm up to and has utterly no fear of noisy power tools.
 

MPappagallo

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I am not well versed enough to determine if he is a p.pardalis or not. @Tom what are your thoughts? Based on the way you described his personality, it sounds like he isn't a 'normal' leopard haha
You could be right! He is way more friendly than most other leopards I have been around....of course, he was raised as a single tortoise and fed by hand most of his life. He is used to being around people all the time, so that might have somethign to do with it as well. Either way, we love him! :)
:rolleyes: Sounds like our redfoot. If I have to lay down inside his indoor enclosure to do some work he will climb right up my legs to see what I'm up to and has utterly no fear of noisy power tools.
Hahahah! He's trying to "help"!
 

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