Madagascar radiated tortoise

As its name indicates, this tortoise only occurs in the wild in Madagascar. And there, they restrict themselves to the south-western part of the island. The radiated tortoise is severely endangered (IUCN status: critical) by, among other things, deforestation, hunting and trade.
Because the animals are endangered, trading in them is prohibited by the CITES convention. Zoos try to breed the species in captivity in order to maintain a healthy population. In captivity, the radiated tortoises can become up to a hundred years old.

The Madagascar radiated tortoise (Geochelone radiate, or more recently, Astrochelys radiata) has a highly elevated carapace. Its base colour is black or dark brown. In the middle of every shield there is a yellow spot from which yellow stripes run to the edge. This pattern gives the tortoise its name. The animals can become up to 40 centimetres long (carapace length), weighing about 15 kilograms.

Radiated tortoises are herbivorous. In the wild the animals mainly eat grass. In zoos they are fed grass, hey, leaves, vegetables and fruit. Their food primarily needs to be very rich in fibre.
The radiated tortoise is from a tropical climate and this has to be taken into account when it is kept in a moderate climatic zone. Ideally, the animals have both an indoor and an outdoor enclosure. When the temperature drops below 15°C the animals should not be outdoors anymore. Indoors, the dry and rainy season can be simulated. The dry season is a bit cooler and dryer, the rainy season is very moist and hot. Besides dry land, there has to be some water for swimming.