Tortoise Box

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Project by scruboak51 posted 07-01-2014 04:38 AM 1275 views 0 times favorited 1 comment Add to Favorites Watch

This is far from fine wood working, but I thought the community would appreciate the build.

I have a Sulcata Tortoise, for those not familiar, Sulcata’s are the approximately the 3rd largest tortoise breed in the world. In order;

#1. Galapagos #2. Aldabra #3. Sulcata

An adult male Sulcata will tip the scales at close to 200 pounds and will measure up to 36” across. Think a wheelbarrow of cement that eats and poops and will out-live you.

Our Sulcata “Mr. Sofa” as named by our friends 4 year old, is going on about 4 years of age and has just begun to get big. As you can see by the second picture, he has out-grown his nighttime enclosure.

During the day Mr. Sofa has 2,000 sq ft of fenced outdoor yard to roam free. Due to his still small size we bring him in at night to keep him safe from predators and to better regulate his temperature.

The build itself was pretty straight forward; I had a good bit of scrap plywood left over from our hardwood floor install. so decided to make the best use of those scraps and build; most work was done with the circular saw as it was to large to work on the table saw. I decided to add casters on the bottom of the cage to make it easier to maneuver for cleaning the floor, also utilized two hinged lids for the top of the cage.

Despite the large size ~1 meter x 2 meters, we will at most only get a couple years use of of it. At that point he will have outgrown this and we will have to build an outdoor shed for him to occupy.

For those of you interested in a Sulcata, please reconsider. Their size and longevity make them unsuitable pets and many less scrupulous pet dealers are are all too wiling to sell them without out regard to their long term health or care. Ours was sold to us with a severe respiratory infection; let me tell you, giving daily shots to a tortoise is no easy task.

I am fortunate to live in Southern California where the climate is ideal for keeping the tortoise out doors almost every single day of the year and I also have a large enough yard for him to roam freely. We also have a local vet that specializes in reptile care. Unless you have all three of those factors, a Sulcata probably isn’t the best tortoise to keep.

Thanks for looking

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Jim Jakosh

24937 posts in 3908 days

#1 posted 07-02-2014 02:59 AM

Nice new home for Mr. sofa!! I found a big snapping turtle in our back yard on Sunday and never saw one around there before. I scooped him up in a bucket an took him to the neighbor’s pond. he was about 12” round and tried to bite me when I went to grab him by the side of the shell.

Is that a snapping variety?
At 200# I’ll bet he could chomp a 1” dowel l in half!!.........................Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

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