Tortoise Hatching




The African Sulcata, or Spur Thigh, tortoise is one of the easier species of tortoise to breed in captivity.  Generally, healthy males and females kept at the correct temperatures are willing to breed at virtually all times of the year in captivity.   Natural sunlight and the duration of exposure to light cycles can have in impact on the willingness of tortoises to breed.

One of the unique aspects of working with this tortoise species is the large number of eggs that are deposited in a single clutch, 20-30 eggs are not uncommon numbers for average size female spur thigh tortoises. 

Anecdotal stories of one adult female producing up to 100 eggs in a season are often heard.  While it is possible for a female to lay several clutches of eggs it is important to remember that the loss of calcium the female will endure while laying such large numbers of eggs can have a very detrimental effect on her over all health. 

In the wild the eggs of this, and other species, would be preyed upon by all sorts of creatures including monitor lizards which are aptly built to claw their way into a nest of eggs and eat the entire clutch. 

Resembling large ping pong balls the shell of the African Spur Thigh tortoise are nearly as rigid as a hens egg, this differs quite a bit from other reptile eggs such as snake eggs.  Snake eggs retain a rather leathery feel to them and remain quite soft an pliable during the entire incubation process. 

Tortoise eggs generally are incubated at approximately 84 degrees for a period of approximately 60-80 days. 



















RainForest Adventures zoo, Smoky Mountains, Tennessee near Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge TN