Stigmochelys pardalis (Leopard tortoise)

Panther tortoises - ZooChat Origin: South Africa and Nambia
Length: up to 50 centimeters
Weight: 13 to 40 kilograms
Age: 50 to 100 years
The leopard tortoise owes its name to its shield. This is namely yellow-brown in color with black spots. A kind of idea similar to the pattern of a panther.

Experience: Novice turtle holder
Food: Vegetables, herbs, special turtle food, (sometimes meat or insects)
Adult feeding: daily
Feed young: Feed present at all times
Water basin: Yes
Change water: daily
The leopard tortoise is a good eater who lives on a diet of different plants and from time to time some meat. In captivity you can give them a diet of different vegetables with, to some extent, a supplement of fruit and meat. Suitable vegetables are bok choy, endive, tomato, Chinese cabbage, spinach, strawberries, broccoli and meadow flowers. For fruit you could look at apple, mandarins, pear and melon and as meat meat beetles, worms and cat food can be given. As with ourselves, the diet must be varied, so try to alternate between the different choices of fruit and vegetables.

In order for the diet to fully meet the interests of the animal, extra vitamins and calcium must be given. This can be done by adding extra vitamins and mineral preparations when eating. There are special preparations for turtles on the market.

The leopard tortoise comes in dry habitats and therefore only needs a small water container that is refreshed daily.


Like the herbivores they are, they also relieve like true herbivores. For this reason, it is advisable to remove the faeces from the accommodation on a daily basis and to remove the dirty soil cover once a week. In addition, it is advisable to thoroughly clean the entire stay a few times a year, thereby preventing the accumulation of germs and bacteria.

It may happen that you have to handle your turtle and that has to be done correctly so that no injury or stress can be involved. Handle the turtle by grabbing it from both sides on the center of the shield. You do this well if they are unable to scratch your hand with their legs. If this is the case, the turtle can deposit on your hand, with all its consequences. In addition, make sure you always wash your hands before handling and make sure you handle the turtle with two hands. With adult turtles, it is wise to lift the turtle in pairs, so that you do not spoil yourself.

Minimum size of stay for 1 couple: 200 * 200 * 80
Surface: 2 m2 per turtle
Day temperature: 23-37C
Night temperature: 21-30C
Hours of light: 12 hours
Humidity level: 50 and 70%
Ground cover: Cocaopeat, potting soil or peat soil
The leopard turtle is a turtle that needs quite some space. But this space does not have to be richly furnished. Panther turtles do not dig and climb much. Most of the structure in the enclosure will therefore only get in their way. They do like it if the terrain contains hills, which they use for egg laying or sunbathing. The leopard turtle likes to have warm, cold, wet and drying places. The warm spots can be created with a spot. The cold spots by using shade. The damp spots by using a humidified hiding box.

The panther turtle, like other turtle species, cannot produce vitamin D without UV light. You can offer them the UV light by using the beautifully named UV lamp. A UV lamp in the accommodation is enough for the turtle to produce the vitamin D it needs.

Diet: Omnivorous with a tendency towards herbs and vegetables.
Lifestyle: Testrial & daily activity
Panther turtles are quiet turtles, which can be very shy. It is therefore also a turtle where contact is driven off. This is for the animal's peace.
Points of attention
Male leopard turtles can fight among themselves. This does not matter in nature, but in captivity this can lead to mutual wounds. They will only do this during mating time, the men need to beseparated during matingseason

Costs and Purchase
Legislation: The leopard turtle falls under CITES II, to own this turtle species you need CITES or transfer papers. You should get this when purchasing.
One-off costs: This includes the costs for accommodation, lighting, heating, water bowl and decoration. This can together cost a few hundred euros to a few thousand euros. The final amount depends on the quality and size of the products.
Fixed costs: Fixed costs include the costs for the feed, which is a few tens of euros per year.
Unexpected costs: Costs have been incurred if your turtle accidentally falls ill or your equipment breaks down.