Piggy was so excited when I found our first dandelions of the spring
She’s pretty dirty… she was taking a snack break from working on her burrow
NO TIME FOR BATH! MUST NOM DANDIE! OMNOMNOMNOMNOM
Piggy is a 10 yo sulcata. She was rescued by my family as a hatchling with shell rot, soft shell, and a severe respiratory infection from extremely poor care and neglect in what was essentially a puppy mill for tortoises. Her underbite was likely caused by these poor conditions and she occasionally needs to be taken to get it filed down, not a fun task with a 60lb monster.
She was originally rescued along with one more sulcata tortoise who died from her illnesses shortly after despite the expensive veterinary care and medication.
Sulcata tortoises are unfortunately frequent victims of impulse buys from people who simply think they’re cool and don’t bother to learn proper care for the species. These are the third largest species of tortoise, getting up to around 150lbs. By the time the tortoise reaches 30lbs it’ll need at least a 10x10ft area it can roam, and by the time it’s 60lbs it’ll need a whole yard to roam and a large heated and sheltered shed. They are very expensive to provide proper heating, lighting, and housing for. These are not a species for just anyone and I personally don’t think they should be kept as pets at all by anyone. They can be quite aggressive and are strong enough that even a 60lb tortoise like piggy can walk straight through the average chain link fence like a piece of tissue… this is a tortoise that is only 10 years old. They are thought to have the potential to live well over 100 and they are constantly growing. A sulcata WILL get large and you NEED to have a plan should you die or be otherwise unable to care for the tortoise. If you don’t have someone reliable that is able will gladly care for your tortoise for the rest of their lives, should something happen to you, don’t get one, no matter how capable YOU alone might be. If properly cared for the tortoise WILL outlive you and you WILL need a plan for it.
VERY important response by a committed sulcata owner!