🐾 Maybe the reason I love animals so much, is because the only time they have broken my heart is when theirs has stopped beating.

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

The end of an era

Torti, the Leopard Tortoise (also known as the Mountain Tortoise)

I took Torti to be released in the Krugersdorp Game Reserve today. She arrived in 2008, no bigger than my hand and probably 2 or 3 years old, Now she's almost 10 and will be reaching sexual maturity soon and I feel it is time for her to meet some of her own kind. I wish you well and hope you're happy in your new home Torti!

Some stats : length 48cm, width across her shell 48cm, height 28cm, weght approx. 15kg. 

Destined for the pot or possibly muti (a term for traditional medicine in Southern Africa), I confiscated her from the aggressor and brought her home. My intention was to release here into a safe environment, but these are becoming less and less due to the area becoming heavily built-up over the last decade.

Torti enjoying her breakfast, a mix of lettuce, celery, carrots, apple, baby marrows, brocolli and some Echeveria leaves

The Leopard tortoise (Stigmochelys pardalis) or Mountain Tortoise face many dangers like illegal trade in wildlife, body parts being used in traditional medicines, veld fires, road kills and many more. So, right or wrong, she has stayed with me over the past seven years in the hope that some day I will find a perfect area in which to release her. In the meantime, she comes when I call her every morning for breakfast, taking her time and making me wait while she unhurriedly approaches and then digging in with gusto!

Torti relaxing in her enclosure
 Torti's enclosure

They are large tortoises (largest species in South Africa) that can weigh over 30kg and measure up to 60cm in length. Males have longer tails and a deep plastron (Bottom of shell) concavity as opposed to the females which have short tails and a flat plastron. Colouration is varied and the African Leopard Tortoise typically lives 80 to 100 years.

 Lydia feeding Torti

Torti basking in the sun

Read more here on how to CARE FOR YOUR LEOPARD TORTOISE



  1. Once again, Maree, I thank you for caring so deeply, and caring for, theses animals. I would loved to have seen Torti come "hurrying" to you for food! :)

  2. I so enjoyed the large photos of this large Torti-tortoise Maree!! I hope she will find a mate soon and they will live happily ever after. Love your story!

    1. Thank you Liz, I also hope she finds some friends soon!



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