The Tortoise and the Hare

Animal Ark is know to have its wide variety of choices when it comes to pets and how to care for them. Today, I’ll be talking about Tortoises and the difference between a Turtle and a Tortoise.

Currently, we have Red-Foot Tortoises, Sulcatas and Russian Tortoises.

They all require specific care, lighting and diets.

Our first critter is the Red-Foot Tortoise.

Red Foot Tortoise Red Foot Tortoise
Food: They are opportunistic grazers. The diet consists mainly of plant material like leafy greens (Collard greens, kale, red and green leafy lettuce, escarole), over-ripe fruits (melons, mango, papaya, cactus leaf) and on occasion have been known to eat carrion and small insects in the wild. As a captive Red-Foot… this is only suggested to be done once or twice a month for a basic protein source. You can use super worms, crickets (though they’ll be a bit fast) or small pinky mice.
Heat/Climate: You should give your tortoise a hot side and a cold side. The hot side should be in or around the mid 90s. The cold side shouldn’t be below 70F. They need humidity. Keep a large water bowl. Something they can wade into and soak if needed. Also, if your home is a dryer area, misting daily is helpful to keep them comfy. (when misting, watch for mold in any of the bedding used. Moisture and heat becomes a prime breeding ground for fungus and mold. Keeping a clean habitat will prevent these issues)
Size and Habitat: The Red-Foot will grow to be about 12″ across. Some have been known to reach about 14″, but it’s rare. A habitat to meet the size requirements is a must for a happy and healthy tortoise. There are a lot of options for enclosures for both indoor and outdoor. Indoor, they have 75gal tanks specifically made for small tortoises, wooden table top enclosures for young tortoises or smaller adults as well as DIY projects for your home.

Differences between a turtle and a tortoise?

There are a few tell-tale differences between the turtle and the tortoise.
Turtles are usually aquatic or semi aquatic, webbed feet and carnivorous/omnivorous. Red-eared sliders, Yellow Belly Cooters, Soft shell turtles and many others fit in this category.
Tortoise are primarily land based animals. Their diets usually stick primarily to plants and fruits. Rarely do they eat meat besides the occasional insect that happens across their path.
Even their ages differ drastically! The oldest known Turtle was about 86 where the oldest known Tortoise was 326!!

Red-Eared Slider
Red Ear Slider

This guy was a rescue

Sulcata Tortoise This guy was a rescue

Keep up with the website and our Facebook for more information on our other Tortoises and the rest of our Animal Ark family!

Also… here’s a cute bunny (because I did say hare)


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