Are certain tortoises prone to flip over?


Tortoise Club
5 Year Member
Platinum Tortoise Club
Location (City and/or State)
South Eastern Florida (U.S.A.)/Rock Hill S.C.
I've always assumed that the answer was no.
The only flipping I'd ever encountered was from very energetic and inexperienced babies or from mating attempts gone wrong.
But all of it was pretty rare.
A few months ago, I was given two young Redfoot. The original keepers mentioned that I should pay attention to one in particular, Waffles, a moderately pyramided but outwardly healthy couple year old female. She had a history of flipping upside down.
Over a period of 2 weeks, I found Waffles upside down twice. Both times in a water tray. So I removed the tray and sunk a shallow bowl in the ground.
Fast forward.
Both of them escaped from their hastily assembled quarantine pen.
Both were found in a few days and where placed into the primary pen with several other rescues more or less their same size.
Right away, I found Waflles upside down. Smack dab in the middle of the yard. In the sun. But ok.
Then flipped over in a night house. Three times.
Today she was upside down in a shallow pool of water. Looking up at me like she was expecting the rescue...
During this same amount of time, no other tortoises (5) have had any issues at all.
She walks normally. Doesnt seem to have anything wrong with her legs and has no visible anomalies except the flattened and pyramided shell carapace.
This is a behavior I've never seen before.
So, I say, Yes.
For certain.
Some tortoises DO flip over more than others.


The Dog Trainer
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Location (City and/or State)
Southern California
I've had a few babies over the years that were more prone to it, but never and older larger tort.


Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Location (City and/or State)
The sulcatas I have now flip every day. Literally every single day. They are hatchlings and they flip using the side of the enclosure.. it’s not see through so 🤷🏼‍♀️🤷🏼‍♀️