Handling Tortoises

Tips on Handling Tortoises

When encountering a tortoise in dry conditions, please don’t pick it up unnecessarily.

Information on the Kruger Park website warns:

Tortoises store water in a cloacal bursa or sack in the rear of the body for use when required. They will also excrete this water supply as a defence against predators [or humans!] and to dampen dry soil when digging holes in which to lay eggs. If you pick up a tortoise trying to survive in very dry conditions it may excrete its valuable water supply, resulting in the eventual death of the animal.

What to do if the tortoise is in the road?

Hold it very close to the ground and move it smoothly out of harm. Do not handle the tortoise more than is needed.