Q:

How do you care for a red-footed tortoise?

A:

Quick Answer

A red-footed tortoise needs a large, safe indoor or outdoor enclosure with suitable humidity and heating. Because they are omnivores, red-footed tortoises need a varied diet of greens, vegetables, fruit and meat protein.

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How do you care for a red-footed tortoise?
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Full Answer

Red-footed tortoises grow from 10 to 16 inches in length and weigh up to 30 pounds. In warm weather, the ideal environment for them is a spacious escape-proof outdoor enclosure that is safe from predators. A sprinkler system provides humidity and creates a muddy area for wallowing. An abundance of plants provides an area in which to retreat. Indoors, young tortoises can be housed in aquariums or plastic tubs, but larger tortoises need tortoise tables. These are like bookshelves laid flat with the shelves removed. They should be about 4 feet by 6 feet and have a substrate of paper or cypress bark. Water should be available for the tortoise to soak in. Temperatures should be maintained from 81 to 86 degrees Fahrenheit, with a warmer basking area of about 95 degrees Fahrenheit.

The main diet of the red-footed tortoise is leafy greens such as mustard greens, dandelion greens, endive, cabbage, parsley, escarole and grape leaves. They also feed on papayas, mangoes, figs, pumpkin, squash, melons, cucumbers, apples, pears, carrots, and other fruits and vegetables. Meat should not be given to them too often. Once every week or two, they can eat a small serving of cat or dog food, lean beef, chicken, live insects, or baby rats or mice.

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