Hello From Ivy


New Member
Sep 14, 2018
Location (City and/or State)
Hanoi, Vietnam
Hello, I am from Vietnam. Just want to share the story of my family's tortoise here. Our family have a mid-size Sulcata tortoise at home. My father got him from his friend about 10 years ago and she has been part of our family. In Vietnam, we don't have so many houses in the city and we usually live in apartments. (In city, we only have luxury houses which are only afforded by rich people). So we don't provide specific places for our Sulcata since we don't have so much room and just let him go anywhere in our apartment. Picture 1 is my tortoise's recent picture and picture 2 is hispicture with our dog.

I once called her "Small Baby" when she was a child and when I was a child. But now I called her "Strong guy" now. All of our family love this tortoise including all the kids. In the past Lunar New Year, all the kids came to my home played with "Strong guy" and ignored the the dog in my home. (I guess my dog may feel disappointed). Of course, I think "Strong guy" was also tire on that day. He usually slept in our bath room. My mom didn't turn on the light in the bathroom when she had bath that day because she wanted "Strong guy" to have a good sleep.

Strong guy has a great power now. Picture 3 is my study room. I only put him in the room for 5 mins and he made my room like that. You can see he pushed the chair lamp to the middle of the room. But the thing that can surprise people most may be the study table was also got pushed. There is no wheels at the bottom of the chair and he can even push that. How large the power he has!

He likes to play and chase my dog and eat my dog's food. The dog once was much larger than him but now the dog doesn't haven any chance to win if he wants to fight with "Strong guy". Picture 4 is that "Strong guy" lay down in the dog's home. He expelled the dog out of the dog house and entered and rest there himself. I even don't understand how he can go in. He is wider than the dog house. But my dog has no way to fight back. Dog can only wait for the "Strong guy" to come out my himself. Very funny.

Picture 5 6 7 and picture 8 are the pictures I can find when he was young (years ago). Once he was also very cute. The wrinkles on his face tells us he has a lot of story with us.

I still remember when he was still young, there is one day raining very heavily with huge sound of thunder. I was scared and I thought he may also get scared. I took him into by bed and slept with him that night.

He is a guy who likes sunshine very much. As a family member for 10 years, he knows my apartment a lot. My bedroom is the only room which has sunshine. Then everyday in the past, when he got up, he waited outside my bedroom. When I got up and opened the door, he came in to enjoy sunshine until 2 years ago. But one day about 2-year ago, we suddenly found he learned how to open the door to balcony. That is large sliding door. My mother and I still need to use much effort to open it but "Strong guy" can open it very easily now. After that, he started to go to balcony to enjoy sunshine and don't need my bedroom anymore.

Finally, a few personal experience. I would say don't raise Sulcata if you don't have a house and a yard. He grows very fast and cannot put in the container when he grows large. As a Vietnam family like me with a small apartment, we can only put it in the apartment and let it go anywhere he would like to go. When he was child and follow you to walk, you will feel he is very cute. But when he grows large, it becomes a big monster. He moves very fast. (When I was child, I read a story about tortoise/rabbit racing which says tortoise is very slow which is not the case obviously). If he accidentally steps on your foot, it is a great pain for you since he is very heavy plus he has sharp nails. The other thing is the poop. My parents and I spend a lot of time picking up the poop for him every day. It is good if he can poop when you are there so you can clean it right away. The big problem is that he may poop when you don't notice and then he will bring the poop to everywhere in your home when he starts to move. If you home floor is based on carpet, it will be much harder for you to clean.

If you think it is ok for all the things above, another problem is that he will mess up your home very easily. For example, he likes to push the furniture. When he grows large, you will find he has a great power which can help him push almost all the furniture in your home. He also likes to scratch your wall corners which will damage them. He even pulled the curtain down to the floor along with the curtain holder several times. Also if you have other pets in your home, he likes to chase those pets because he wants to be the king in the home. For example, I actually have some bed setup in the bathroom for him but I think he likes to chase the dog and sleep in the dog's home better. Picture 10 is that he squashed the dog home in one day. And he eats a lot. The cost for tortoise food is huge. Even if I eat an apple sometimes, he will run back and forth around me which means he also want to have one. He will not stop until you give him one apple.

To be honest, if you want to raise giant tortoise, I would say Aldabra is better than Sulcata. At lease, adult Aldabra is like a quiet princess. However, in my heart, this big monster is still my small baby. Sometimes, when I studied late at night, he would lay down near my foot and watch me just like a good friend. So I will not give it to anybody to adopt. I will be with him and he will be with me always. I will work hard to fight and earn money to buy a house for him!!!

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Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Apr 24, 2014
Location (City and/or State)
Aguanga, CA
Your story has touched my spirit. I am so happy that you love, and are so devoted to your tortoise. I spent some time in your beautiful country back in the 1970s, and hold those memories close, yet am glad for the friendship between our peoples today. Welcome to our forums!


Well-Known Member
Tortoise Club
Platinum Tortoise Club
Jun 25, 2018
Location (City and/or State)
Portland, OR
That is such a sweet story. Thank you for sharing. Good advice also! Welcome to the forum :)

Yvonne G

Old Timer
TFO Admin
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Jan 23, 2008
Location (City and/or State)
Clovis, CA
Welcome to the Forum! Your tortoise is very pretty.

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