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Unavailable for purchase. Continue shopping Checkout Continue shopping. Chi ama i libri sceglie Kobo e inMondadori. Sulcatas in captivity by Russ Gurley. Choose Store. Or, get it for Kobo Super Points! From a small tan hatchling with wide, alert eyes and a ravenous appetite, these wonderful tortoises quickly in tortoise terms can become backyard giants.
Despite their very large size as adults, these tortoises can inspire individual keepers and entire families. By keeping them properly, children and adults learn respect for a living animal and its needs. Daily routines spring up around this new and exotic pet that instill thoughtfulness and responsibility.
There is a serious breeding problem in the United States. Sulcatas are believed to have first arrived in the US in the s, when a few were imported from the southern edge of the Sahara by wealthy obsessives, including big-game hunter Paquita Machris , whose kills live on in dioramas at the Natural History Museum in Los Angeles. The first US babies were born in the s, but they stayed a rarity until breeders figured out the best incubation strategies. Sulcatas are prodigious egg layers — several times a year, between 15 and 50 in a clutch — so breeders can produce thousands of babies with relatively little effort.
Over the years, overbreeding has pushed the prices of the tiny tortoises down to a fraction of their cost when breeding first took off. Many sulcatas get dumped in garages or basements, far from the sunlight they need to synthesize vitamin D and keep their shells and bones healthy. Without it — or with too much or too little protein, or too little humidity, or too little calcium — sulcatas will develop metabolic bone disease, a catchall term for skeletal disorders resulting from malnutrition.
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