The sulcata tortoise is also known as the African Spurred tortoise because of the large spurs found on their back legs. They are the third largest species of tortoise in the world behind the Galapagos and the Aldabra Giant Tortoise.
The males can be particularly argumentative and aggressive. They can often be seen ramming other males whilst letting out all kinds of sounds. They croak, they grunt, they even whistle. They’re that aggressive that from the moment they hatch from their eggs they’re trying to get ‘one over’, quite literally, on their siblings by trying to flip them on their backs…charming!
Listed as vulnerable on the IUCN red list due to the destruction of their habitats and over grazing by livestock. They also fall prey to nomadic tribes who see them as a food source. Finally, they are highly sought after for the pet trade with only the younger ones being taken. As it takes roughly 15 years for these tortoises to reach maturity it’s greatly reducing the amount of successful mating taking place in the wild.
Grasslands, deserts, savannah and thorn scrubland
Grasses and plants