Ever since I saw a sulcata tortoise on Instagram, I have really wanted one. I have never kept a reptile as a pet and was

Expert's Assistant chatimg
Customer: Ever since I saw a sulcata tortoise on Instagram, I have really wanted one. I have never kept a reptile as a pet and was wondering what kind of person would be a good caretaker for one.
Are they expensive to keep/maintain/feed.
Are they beginner friendly.
Can they be left alone? Do I need to buy them in pairs to not get lonely.
How much outdoor space do they need?
Answered by PitRottMommy in 1 min 2 years ago
imglogo
PitRottMommy
15+ years of experience
logo

60,386 satisfied customers

Specialities include: Reptile Veterinary, Herp Veterinary, Exotic Animal Medicine, Amphibian Veterinary

Hi, JACustomer. I have been a Veterinary Nurse for over 15 years and I'm happy to help. Please stand by while I have a chance to type.

Customer
sure!

Generally speaking, sulcatas are not a good choice for the beginning owner as these guys can live 150 years or more. Since they would outlive their owner, this means that tortoises are often bounced around from home to home until they eventually reach their natural life span.

To answer your question:

Due to their size and housing requirements, they are expensive to house and to feed.

They are friendly animals but their size and age make them best for advanced keepers.

They can be left alone. I do not suggest keeping pairs together unless breeding is desired. Males can become aggressive with one another and two of any gender can harm one another unintentionally.

They need as much space outdoors as you can provide. Generally speaking, they need at least 100 square feet of room as an adult. Keep in mind that most sulcatas will need to have housing both indoors and outdoors (if the temps are high enough). They are not an animal that can typically just be placed into a yard to survive on their own.

My suggestion to you would be volunteering for a reptile rescue in your area, including one that rescues tortoises. From there, you can foster to see if you'd be a good match with a tortoise of this size and that reaches this age. If not, there are plenty of other tortoises that stay small and do not reach nearly the age of sulcatas. For example, the pancake tortoise stays under 2# ***** live to be about 30 years old.

Customer
Oh I see.... yeah... I don't think I should get one.
Do you recommend the pancake tortoise for beginners?
What other tortoise/turtle breeds do you recommend for a beginner?

Pancake tortoises are an excellent choice for beginners.

Red-eared sliders make excellent starter turtles and live to see about 25 years of life.

Neither of these guys would get so big that they would not do well indoors.

Customer
Gotcha. I will do some research on these two and if I have any questions I'll come back.
Thank you!!

My pleasure :)

Read less
unlike
0 Likes
logoBack
logologo
PitRottMommy
logo
logo
60,386 satisfied customers
logo
15+ years of experience
imglogo
PitRottMommy
+ years of experience
logo

60386 satisfied customers

Ellen

Ellen

Licensed veterinarians

31,131 satisfied customers

Pearl avatar
Pearl Wilson, Veterinarian's Assistant
116 Veterinarians are online right now.
Related Veterinary Questions
Sulcata tortoise has diarrhea. No just the food I give it.
10.4.2022
img
Dr Adrien
Veterinarian
1,656 Satisfied Customers
He seems to be eating a lot less, staying in his shell a lot
6.28.2022
img
Dr. Caryn – Vet
Reptile Veterinarian
327 Satisfied Customers
My tortoise has a swollen back knee where it bends it. It's
11.9.2021
img
Dr. Amy Leigh
Pet Specialist
847 Satisfied Customers
I have a 27 year old Sulcata and he is very lethargic and
10.11.2021
img
Rebecca Coles
Pet Specialist
180 Satisfied Customers
Baby sulcata tortoise not eating, yes, not as active, no,
5.25.2020
img
Anna
Reptile Expert, Biologist
5,214 Satisfied Customers
How it works
logoAsk for help, 24/7
Ask for help, 24/7
Members enjoy round-the-clock access to 12,000+ verified Experts, including doctors, lawyers, tech support, mechanics, vets, home repair pros, more.
logoExpert will respond in minutes
Expert will respond in minutes
After you reach out, we match you with an Expert who specializes in your situation. Talk, text, chat, whichever you prefer.
logoSave time & money
Save time & money
No scheduling hassles, missing time from work, or expensive consults.
A JustAnswer membership can save you significant time and money each month.
Sarahesq and 87 other Veterinarian specialists are ready to help you.
Disclaimer: Information in questions, answers, and other posts on this site ("Posts") comes from individual users, not JustAnswer; JustAnswer is not responsible for Posts. Posts are for general information, are not intended to substitute for informed professional advice (medical, legal, veterinary, financial, etc.), or to establish a professional-client relationship. The site and services are provided "as is" with no warranty or representations by JustAnswer regarding the qualifications of Experts. To see what credentials have been verified by a third-party service, please click on the "Verified" symbol in some Experts' profiles. JustAnswer is not intended or designed for EMERGENCY questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals.
Why you’ll love JustAnswer
JustAnswer is the best way to get expertise on-demand from doctors, lawyers, vets, mechanics and more. Since 2003, we’ve helped more than 9 million people in 196 countries and have an A+ rating with BBB and a 9.6/10 rating with TrustPilot.
Highly rated, verified Experts
We pride ourselves in our 8-step verification process including license and credential checks. Vetted by us and rated by customers, like you.
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal ...leave nothing to chance.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
JustAnswer, Professional Services  General, San Francisco, CA
Google reviews
TrustPilot Reviews