We are adding the Pancake Tortoise (Malacochersus tornieri) to our breeding program. This unique and awesome species is critically endangered and we are pleased to work with them.
As always, we raise our breeders as hatchlings so it will be awhile before we have hatchlings of our own available for sale within the United States. But feel free to learn more about them and check back on updates as our breeding group grows.
In the wild, the Malacochersus tornieri can be found in Tanzania and Kenya, eastern Africa.
Approximately 6-7" (15-17 cm) in length, adult size. They are approximately 1" (2.5 cm) thick. The carapace is different shades of brown with burst patterns. The plastron is pale yellow, while the head, limbs, and tail are usually a yellow-brown color.
Due to habitat destruction and overcollection, the Malacochersus tornieri is currently a critically endangered species.
They are also now designated CITES-I in the United States, which now prohibits their importation into the country.
The Pancake Tortoise's thin shell is flexible. They are also lightweight and very fast - actually faster than other tortoise species. They are expert climbers and enjoy climbing up rock structures.
Our hatchlings are currently housed in one of our homemade indoor tortoise tables. When outdoor temperatures permit, they do spend a few hours out in the natural sun. They will have a full outdoor enclosure available to them during the 2021 summer. This species does not brumate and our tortoises will be housed safely indoors during our winter months.
Our substrate is an even mixture of organic topsoil, play sand, and cypress mulch.
Our enclosures, indoors and outdoors, have a kopje available, made from pieces of flagstone and slate. Our tortoises love to hide and nap in it. We also provide a variety of other hides.
We provide a fluorescent UVB light, and a UVA basking light. These lights are at one half of the enclosure to leave the other side cool and dark so our tortoises can choose if they want to bask or rest in the dark.
Our tortoises have access to fresh water at all times. We provide a very shallow dish that is large enough for them to climb into for drinking and soaking.
The Malacochersus tornieri species is a herbivore. We provide ours with a wide variety diet which includes fibrous grasses, weeds (which we grow from seed on our premises), supermarket greens, and prickly pear cactus. We supplement their diet with Mazuri once a week.
For treats, our Pancake tortoises are given hibiscus flowers and opuntia (cactus) fruit. We do not feed our tortoises any supermarket fruits due to the high sugar content.
The enclosure also has a homemade calcium block we bake ourselves using calcium carbonate.
We mist the indoor enclosure each morning to provide a little humidity but not to keep everything too damp. This is a dry desert species and too much moisture will result in respiratory issues and possible shell rot.
We provide a simple humid hide and mist the enclosure lightly each morning to provide a little humidity. But our enclosure is open top and no humidifiers are used.
Constant high humidity is not recommended for this species.
Learn how we make our humid hides!