Over the weekend, the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office encountered a tortoise crossing State Road 20 in Interlachen.
Upon inspection, the tortoise was identified as an African Sulcata, which is native to the southern edge of the Sahara Desert.
According to wildlife experts at Florida’s Wildest Animal Refuge, these tortoises are known for being escape artists and can dig themselves out of enclosures.
The sheriff’s office has stated that the tortoise enjoys human interaction and head pats, and if it belongs to someone, they should contact the office at 386-329-0800 to get in touch with the refuge.
However, the sheriff’s office has made it clear that the tortoise is not up for adoption. If it is not claimed, the refugee has agreed to provide it with a home.
Additionally, the gender of the tortoise is unknown, which may be a helpful question for identifying its handler.
Can A Sulcata Tortoise Bite You?
While Sulcata tortoises are generally docile, they can become aggressive and bite under certain circumstances. However, there is no need to worry, as the pet will not attack unless provoked.
Sulcata tortoises bite as a form of self-defense. Despite carrying a large shell on their backs, they can become insecure due to rough handling, constant noise, or other stressful situations.
Additionally, they may become aggressive towards predators due to their ferocity or towards their companions due to bullying, stress, or mating desires.
Sometimes, tortoises bite each other as part of their playful behavior, accompanied by nibbling or kicking.
If a Sulcata tortoise has bitten you while feeding, it may have mistaken your finger for food, and there was no intention to harm you.
Overall, while Sulcata tortoises can bite, it is not a common occurrence and usually only happens in specific circumstances. Learn more here, Can A Sulcata Tortoise Bite You?