The first Pancake Tortoise babies have been born at Meserani Snake Park. They are an endangered species.
The wild population of pancake tortoises is declining due to collection for the pet trade. It is currently illegal to import wild-caught tortoises, although captive-bred tortoises are available. Since they are dependent on rocky outcrops for shelter, populations of tortoises can become isolated easily, and are vulnerable to being harvested below sustainable numbers. Their reproductive rate is low.
The pancake tortoise is thought to be the fastest tortoise and the best climber, due to the lightness of its shell. Rather than ducking into its shell for protection, when threatened it will run for shelter in the rocks. The shell of the pancake tortoise is very flat, which makes it easier for the tortoise to right itself when overturned.
The average lifespan of a Pancake Tortoise living in captivity is around 25 years.
This tortoise is found throughout Kenya and Tanzania.
Aren’t they the cutest little things.