Leopard tortoise

Leopard Tortoise

Stigmochelys pardalis

About This Animal

SIZE: Can get over 2 feet long and weigh up to 100 pounds. Most are from 15-18" and 30-50 pounds.

RANGE: Found in the savannas of Eastern and Southern Africa, from Sudan to the southern Cape

HABITAT: Semi-arid (not dry), thorny to grassland habitats

DIET: Mixed grasses, weeds, fruit and flowers

ON EXHIBIT:  Turtles Gallery in River Journey

The Leopard Tortoise is the fourth largest species of tortoise in the world, typically reaching 18 inches and weighing 40 pounds by adulthood. It gets its name from the leopard-like spots on its shell. Juveniles and young adults are attractively marked and the markings on each individual are unique. The skin and background color are cream to yellow, and the carapace is marked with black blotches, spots or even dashes or stripes.

The Leopard Tortoise is native to the savannas of Eastern and Southern Africa. Known as a grazing species of tortoise, it thrives in grassland habitats. While it mostly eats mixed grasses, it also favors succulents and thistles.

This species is listed as vulnerable in the wild, where it can live from 80 to 100 years.