Angulata hatchlings


The Dog Trainer
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Jan 9, 2010
Location (City and/or State)
Southern California
I know sorting through sci lit can be a challenge and it might be easier to just do what others do. However that methodology has lead to iceburg lettuce fed rabbit pellet substrate sulcatas, Yeah?,5&q=MD+Hofmeyr+chersina&oq=MD+Hofmeyr+chersina

Angulates have a huge range with highly variable annual cycles of water and temp. They would seem to not re-establish well, but once established are pretty durable. There are reports in the lit of them getting out and about so early in the morning that frost is on their shell, hardly wall flower tortoises. I got to see several in RSA, and they are very common where they occur, insect like proportions. Even found a nest.

I hope to see you all be successful with them in captivity.

Hey Will?

I clicked on the link for this article:
"Seasonal and Site Variation in Angulate Tortoise Diet and Activity"

It only gives me the abstract, and not the article. How do I get the whole article to come up? Forgive me if its something obvious, but I've tried clicking on just about everything, and can't seem to find the text.


Well-Known Member
Oct 30, 2017
Location (City and/or State)
South Africa - Cape Town
Everyone I spoke with said these common things:

1) They are a "Difficult" species. By difficult, they seem to mean hard to keep alive, hard to keep healthy, hard to breed and aggressive towards each other and occasionally humans.
2) The stress of wild harvest, shipping and introduction to a new climate seems to be too much for 40 to 60% of them, meaning the initial loss is normally high.
3) Finding long term captives or young CB animals (very few CB) is the way to go.(as you would expect).
4) They are very fast moving tortoises, and males can be fatally aggressive towards both other males and females - watch them like a hawk if you have adults in together. Juveniles don't seem to display the aggressive behavior until they mature.
5) Seemingly healthy animals can all of the sudden draw back, stop eating and be dead within 2 weeks.
6) Those that have egg-laying females note that fertility is an issue.

That's about it for the consistent comments.

Here are some of the contradicting things I heard. I have no experience with this species and certainly have no opinions of my own at this point.

- Some very experienced people say they need very hot and dry during the day, cold and dry at night. I have heard 2 or 3 reports of them developing incurable skin lesions - which they attribute to keeping them in humid/wet conditions - ultimately leading to death. These people tend to be indoor keepers.

- Other's (also very experienced keepers) say that not only can they handle humidity, but they do better in humid/wet conditions. These people tend to be outdoor keepers for at least 5 months of the year and have long-term captive animals (or at least that's what they have left).

- Some insist they must be kept indoors and are afraid to keep them outside - They feel the outdoors are too cool or too humid (or some other thing).

- Others feel that keeping them outdoors is necessary and that they can absolutely handle very cold and wet situations as well as very hot and dry conditions - noting that South Africa has seasons that are very cold and wet, and seasons that are very hot and dry. One of the sources for this comment lives in Bulgaria and keeps them outdoors during the summer months.

- Some state that a natural diet high in succulents / cactus and natural graze is key - some don't and feed Mazuri.

A few facts:

Oklahoma City Zoo has a breeding group and has had some success over the years. Dwight Lawson is behind that program. One observation of note from Dwight is that he had significant fertility issues for years. He then switched to a diet heavy in succulents, cactus, and squash, pumpkin, etc.. and fertility notably increased. He admits it might be coincidence, but he has stuck with that diet and has reasonable success now.

@kingsley (posts on this forum) was a contributor to much of the information above and has produced 1 hatchling which is alive and doing well.

Another member , who has outlined this in prior posts here and on Facebook - produces many eggs, but has hatched one, which died soon after. He has also had a few that make it into the late stages of development and die in the shell.


So, all in all, there isn't anything that I would consider hard and fast husbandry guidelines for this species, which is why I am interested in working with them. I would like to help answer some of these questions. If we can get a solid CB generation, then much of the sensitivity might go away.

I am considering initiating a project in conjunction with the Zoo I work with. If anyone has any other information they can share, I would love to hear from you.

Very Interesting.

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