Creature Feature: Franklin Tortoise

November 22, 2014 | Jill Brown

Franklin 2Franklin, is a red footed tortoise. They can be found in the wild in South America and their conservation status is labeled as “vulnerable” right now because of habitat destruction and the wild population is being over harvested for the pet trade. Franklin is one of our education animals so he lives with the other educational reptiles in a temperature controlled room.

Here at the museum, Franklin’s diet consists of a big salad every day. He gets 100g of greens, 10 g of fruit and 20g of vegetables. 2 times a week he gets a protein which tends to vary. He will not eat live food so, we tend to give him snail, shrimp,cat food and egg.

Franklin has a really great personality. He is very curious and  is always active and can be seen sometimes with the rabbits in the farmyard or cruising along the animal department hallway getting his exercise. He whistles when he breathes, sometimes this can be an indication of respiratory issues in tortoises, but can be a typical characteristic  of some tortoises.

Before you consider one as a pet there are a few things you should know. These guys can live up to 50 years and can get up to 14 inches in length. They should get a diet everyday of fresh greens, need special lighting and heating and cant live in a small enclosure.

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