our animals

Red-footed Tortoise

Chelonoidis Carbonaria

Red-footed tortoises can be recognised by their dark shell, with yellow markings. They are medium sized tortoises that get their name from the red, orange or yellow scales which are visible on their legs, as well as their heads and tails.

The red-footed tortoise is polygynous (having more than one mate). Males produce sounds and calls to attract potential mates and ward off competitors. Males often move their heads in a bobbing motion prior to fighting. If a male flips his competitor on to his back he wins the fight and gains access to the female.

Red-footed tortoises are primarily herbivorous, though they are known to eat carrion as well as any bug they can catch. When the weather turns cool, their metabolism slows down considerably, allowing them to survive on minimal food. For example in a very warm climate a mature individual can survive nearly a month on a single banana!

Sexing tortoises is easy with a quick look at the “plastron”, or the underside of the animal. Females have a flat plastron, whereas males have a concave one which helps them to fit on top of the female when mating.

Red footed Tortoise

fun facts

Conservation Status:



South America


Savannah and forest edges


Fruit, flowers, fungi and carrion

Carapace length:




Incubation period:

117-158 days

Life Span:

50-70 yrs