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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Animal Ark has Returned!!

Sorry for the absence on our website! We’ve been SUPER busy trying to bring you the best at our store! Here are some of our updates, new and old news!

We’ve got some new faces to our Animal Ark family! If you’ve kept up with our Facebook page, you’ve seen these newbies. Give them a warm welcome!

Some of our associates, new and old!

Some of our associates, new and old!

We’ve also added some new critters to our line-up! Some of these guys we’ve had before, others are new to our store!

Meet Big Red! This here is our Red Iguana. It’s a bit feisty and was brought to us to find a new home for. Once Red is outta the cage, it calms a bit. It needs some TLC from someone who has had Iguanas before.
They’re HERBIVORES. This means they eat plants… only plants. Their digestive systems aren’t made for protein and thus can cause issues if you’re feeding them insects. Your iggy won’t die if it eats something that happened to get into the cage, but some people will insist theirs loves crickets and roaches. It is NOT recommended.

Give them heat and UV. Temps no lower than 80 degrees and as high as the mid 90’s is required. Give them a basking spot they can climb to with a good UVB bulb near their heat. This allows them to cool down if they need to and gather light as they please.

Iguanas like to climb! Give them a good sized cage and some branches. It’ll make them feel right at home!
Handling your iggy is important too. They can be aggressive by nature and, like most animals, take some time to warm up to your handling. 2-3 times a day is the best. Gentle, slow and steady. Stroke their back and neck. Give them enough time to settle in your hands before putting them back.

They do show defensive postures if they’re scared. Be aware of these postures so you know when you just need to leave them alone. Like us, they’ll have their bad days. I know I’m pretty grumpy if I haven’t had enough to eat.
-Mouth open when approaching. This is an “imma bite chu” stance. Give him a second to calm and try approaching again.
-Neck flap spread and puffing up. This is the iggy’s way of saying “I’m trying to appear bigger. This is my space!
-Whipping. They’ll whip with their tails. While they’re small, it’s just a bit annoying. Once they hit their full adult size of 4-5 feet, It can become painful.
All of these can be avoided with proper handling and a good setup!

Red Iguana with an attitude.

Red Iguana with an attitude.

Big Red 3

New posts to come soon so stay tuned!!

Posted in Albino, Amphibian, Animal Ark, Aquarium Supplies, Assassin Snail, Ball Morph, Bearded Dragon, Blood, Boa, Cat Food, Cat Supplies, Cats, Chinchilla, Corn Snake, Crested Gecko, Decor, Discus, Dog Food, Dog Supplies, Feeders, Ferret, Fire-belly Toad, Fish, Gecko, Gerbil, Golden Gecko, Green Iguana, Guinea Pig, Hamster, Hedge Hog, Kingsnake, Kingwood, Kitten, Lizards, Marine Fish, Peacock Spider, Pixie Frog, Polyps, Prairie Dog, Prarie Dog, Rabbit, Red Iguana, Red-eyed Tree Frog, Reptiworms, Salt Water/Marine, Snake, Spider, Spiney Crevice Lizard, Sugar Glider, Sugar Gliders, Toys, Tropical Fish | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Rabbits! You want ’em!? We have ’em!


This little guy (who’s not so little) is a rescue. He came in today(5/14/14) and is in need of a forever home.

He’s very sweet and holdable. He’ll make a great addition to the family with or without children!


We’ve also got babies and juvenile rabbits!

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Prairie Dog Pups!


Prairie Dogs make fantastic pets. They bond with their owner and become a fantastic addition to your family. They’re very social critters, making your family into their new colony.

Their diet consists of hay and hay based pellets. dried fruit can be added as a treat and fresh veggies. Too much of either though can give your pup the runs.


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kitten5 kitten4 kitten3 kitten2

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Store-front Sale!

It’s yard sale day every day at Animal Ark! We have new and gently used items out front of our store, from hutches to kennels. We even get large tanks with stands from time to time.

We carry the used items to help those that really want the pets they’ve always wanted without the outrageous costs of their habitats.

Check out these large kennels we’ve received!

kennel3 kennel2 kennel1(the young lady here is about 5’2″)

Posted in Amphibian, Animal Ark, Aquarium Supplies, Cat Supplies, Cats, Chinchilla, Dog Supplies, Feeders, Ferret, Fish, Gecko, Gerbil, Guinea Pig, Hamster, Hedge Hog, Kingsnake, Kingwood, Kitten, Lizards, Prairie Dog, Prarie Dog, Rabbit, Salt Water/Marine, Snake, Spider, Sugar Glider, Sugar Gliders | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

There’s An Assassin Amongst Us!

The Assassin Snail (Clea helena), also known as the Snail Eating Snail, is a breath of fresh air in our freshwater aquariums. These guys occur naturally in Southeast Asia. They eat decaying protein, acting as a small cleaner as well as ‘assassinating’ the annoying Trumpet snails that often over run your tanks from seemingly nowhere.

These guys don’t over breed like the Trumpets. 4-5 of the Assassins in your tank will have a 20-30 gallon tank clear of an infestation in about 2 months!

assassin snails

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We have new, fun and inexpensive toys for your favorite pet!

Mention this post and get $1 off one of these three toys*!


*While supplies last

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Marshall Ferrets!

Baby Marshall Ferrets! 7 weeks old and ready for their forever home!

Some info on ferrets before you buy.
They’re carnivores. This means they like meat. Marshall recommends you feed them the Marshall Premium Ferret Diet.

They are VERY playful and need lots of love and attention. Cat toys are a great buy but there are also specifically designed toys just for ferrets.

We carry ball pits, tubes, toys, treats, harnesses, cages and a plethora of other fun and fancy things for your new ferret.

Every Marshall ferret comes with a guarantee that must be filed within 30 days of the purchase.

Come in and check them out!


Ferret2 Ferret1

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Salt Water Sampler!

Here’s just a sample of what we have in stock in our salt room. Come on in to see the rest of our selection.


FeatherDuster1 DSC_0156 DSC_0077 DSC_0076 DSC_0068 DSC_0056 Cardinal1 Cardinal2


Don’t forget that we still have fresh water too!

DSC_0133 DSC_0127 DSC_0126 DSC_0113

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