African Spurred Tortoise

African spurred tortoises have sandy colored camouflage to blend with the desert areas along the Sahara’s southern edge. They survive on a diet of various succulent (water retaining) plants. 

African spurred tortoises are the third biggest type of tortoise in the world—only the Aldabra and Galápagos grow larger. In Africa they're often highly revered and regarded as a sign of good luck, longevity, fertility and happiness.

Q: How do they survive life in a scorching desert?
SW:
So, how would you keep your cool in the summer sizzle of a desert? If you were an African spurred tortoise you’d “chill” by digging out a shelter and staying underground during the hottest parts of the day. 

Q: What dangers do African spurred tortoises face in the wild?
SW:
African spurred tortoises are hardy enough to survive a harsh desert, yet they're no match for habitat destruction and the illegal pet trade. Fortunately they’re protected by international law, but populations in Africa have fallen drastically from perhaps 100,000 50 years ago to no more than 20,000 today. 

Q: Do they make good pets?
SW:
Although they start out very cute and very small, over time these heavy herbivores grow considerably and can end up weighing more than 100 lb. (45 kg)! As with any potential pet, lots of research needs to be done ahead of time to ensure a person can provide the proper level of long-term care to keep it physically healthy and behaviorally enriched.