If you currently own a male sulcata please do not submit an adoption application to us for another one. Sulcata tortoises are mostly solitary in the wild, and pet tortoises do not require a “friend.” This particularly applies to situations where there is already an adult male tortoise in the picture, in which case CTTR has become very familiar with the most likely outcomes of adding a companion.

1. A second male is introduced, and they will be aggressive and fight with one another, which has three possible outcomes:

a) they’ll hurt and possibly kill one another

b) you’ll have to divide your yard in half so each will only have half as much space as they need, which is not fair, or

c) you end up getting rid of one because males almost never co-exist peacefully.

2. A female is introduced, and the male pursues her constantly (he will). This is stressful for the female, will lower her immune system, damage her cloaca because the males are relentless, and may result in her laying eggs. The pet trade is oversaturated with this species as it is (which is why tortoise rescues are popping up left and right), so in this case we recommend digging up the eggs and freezing them rather than allowing them to develop and add to the problem, which is exceptionally unfair to the several individuals that will end up in the hands of inexperienced keepers who think they can keep them in an aquarium or an apartment.

There are exceptions to every rule. Two females are fine. Situations where the keeper can provide adequate space and heated housing for both males in separate enclosures are fine. Experienced keepers with lots of acreage and the space and means to separate aggressive males are fine.

This is our stance. I’m sure we’ll get lots of comments about how “I’ve had my boys together for years with no issues” and that’s really great! I’m so glad that it can work out for some people; however, this is not a situation that we are comfortable putting an animal in, and since our priority is the care and well being of the animals that are entrusted to us, we are not planning on compromising.