Tortoise Conservation and Rehabilitation
Photos courtesy of NSPCA South Africa
Tortoises need your help and our help to survive. Sometimes they need rescue, veterinary care, rehabilitation, release back into the wild, a sanctuary. Sometimes they need rescuing from the illegal pet trade, cruelty or neglect.
They need specialised care and a special diet.
If you have a tortoise that needs our help, don't hesitate to get in touch. All animals matter and we are here and happy to help.
In South Africa we have the angulate tortoise, hinged back and leopard tortoise.
Don't break the law
NO INDIGENOUS TORTOISES MAY BE TRANSPORTED, POSSESSED, IMPORTED OR EXPORTED WITHOUT A PERMIT.
It is illegal to keep an indigenous tortoise without a permit.
If you see someone keeping an indigenous tortoise as a pet and they want to surrender it, get in touch.
If you see someone keeping a tortoise as a pet and they will not surrender it, contact your local SPCA who can legally confiscate the tortoise and place it in the right care.
Don't run them over
Move tortoises off the road, be vigilant of wildlife and slow down for wildlife.
So many are killed on the roads each year which is threatening their survival.
Tortoise as a Pet?
Many species of tortoises are increasingly threatened by illegal collecting for the pet trade. When transported outside of their natural range and climate, many tortoises often die. This is partly because they are adapted to a specific climate and landscape, but also because each species has a very specific diet, which they typically do not receive when they are kept as pets, by inexperienced keepers.
Furthermore the incorrect diet will result in their beaks becoming overgrown.
Tortoises are very prone to respiratory problems if the correct temperatures are not maintained.
Some tortoises can typically live 80 to 100 years.
New owners often grow tired quickly, and when the novelty wears off the animals are often dumped in the nearest veld. Where they often do not survive as they do not know the landscape; dehydration and starvation.
It is AGAINST THE LAW TO KEEP INDIGENOUS WILD ANIMALS AS PETS AND UNETHICAL.
If you see someone with an indigenous wild animals as a pet, get in touch. Or call your local SPCA.
TORTOISES IN NEED
Move them off the road, be vigilant of wildlife and slow down for wildlife.
Contact us if you see tortoises being illegally kept in captivity.
Save them from veld fires, the road, domestic animals, pet owners.... do not keep them as pets.
Keep the wild, in the wild.