Our patient of the week, Tank the Tortoise. This little guy is an absolute fighter, even though he’s smaller than a 2ml syringe!
Tank is a Leopard Tortoise.
Although Leopard Tortoises live a long time in captivity, they seldom thrive! In fact, they slowly become anorexic and nutritionally deficient and, unfortunately, their owners rarely notice because of their shell.
The reason they become nutrient-deficient is that, in the wild, they are highly selective feeders and eat exactly what they need to maintain optimal health!
What they are fed in captivity is very rarely correct or sufficient.
Fun Fact: One of their main sources of protein and calcium is from eating carnivore poop!
Also, they carry a number of undesirable diseases…
These are some of the main reasons it is imperative to have a permit from Nature Conservation to keep any animal found in the wild.
It is highly discouraged for people to try turn them into pets!
Young tortoises, like Tank, are highly vulnerable to predators like dogs, cats, jackals, crows, birds of prey and mongooses because their shells are still very soft.
We suspect he was chomped on by a dog.
(By the way, this is hands down the cutest bandage we’ve ever done!)
He has been safely handed over to the dedicated staff in the Zoology department of the McGregor Museum, who have agreed to help save this adorable reptile. They will monitor him closely and keep him healthy until he can be released into the wild.
Thank you to the wonderful people who brought him to our clinic. The world needs more people as compassionate as you!