Leopard Tortoise | Welsh Mountain Zoo

Leopard Tortoise

Stigmochelys pardalis

  • Not Evaluated
  • Data Deficient
  • Least Concern
  • Near Threatened
  • Vulnerable
  • Endangered
  • Critically Endangered
  • Extinct in the Wild
  • Extinct

Originating from the Saharan planes of Africa, the Leopard Tortoise suffered rapid decline in numbers during the late 1980’s when an estimated 76% of Tortoises where exported across the globe and sold as pets. With distinctive black and brown patterning across their hard shells, captive leopard tortoises can live up to 75 years.

Native Range →

Southern and Southwest Africa

Natural Habitat  →

Shrubland and Savanna

Diet  →

Grasses, succulents and forbs

Life Expectancy  →

Around 50 years in the wild. Up to 75 years in zoos

Breeding  →

6 - 15 eggs. Incubation period: 88 - 163 days

Group Name  →


Active Hours  →

During the day

Threats  →

Hunting, illegal pet trade

Fun fact

The individual panels of the shell of a Leopard Tortoise are called “scutes”. These scutes grow in conjunction with growing seasons so anyone can make a guess at the age of a Leopard Tortoise by counting the ridges, just like the rings on a tree.

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