Mocha, The Sulcata Tortoise
"Mocha" is our adult male Sulcata tortoise. We got him in 2007 along with three 2.5-inch baby Sulcatas from a DENR WFP permitee. We didn't know he'd turn out to be a male. Looking back, we wish we didn't give him such a girly name.
Mocha is an African spurred tortoise (Centrochelys sulcata), also called Sulcata tortoise. Sullies are a species of tortoise that inhabit the southern edge of the Sahara desert in northern Africa. They are the most commonly kept pet tortoises in the country. They can grow from cute 2-inch hatchlings to huge 33-inch adults which make them the the 3rd largest species of tortoises in the world next to Galapagos and Aldabra tortoises.
Sulcata Tortoise Growth Rate
Date: Oct 10, 2015
Below are photos of Mocha that show his growth over the years, May 2007. In just 3 years, he grew from 2.5 inches to more than 12 inches!
Since 1999, I've always kept an Excel file chart for all my tortoises. Everytime I have time, I measure their length and weight. So I'm sharing some of Mocha's data along with some pictures.
Teasing Mocha with an Okra
Date: Apr 20, 2014
Mocha loves food so much! He is always hungry. His cuteness is beyond words. I'll let the photos do the talking.
Date: Nov 8, 2009
This is our male Sulcata tortoise named Mocha. We got him in 2007 along with three 2.5-inch baby Sulcatas from a DENR NCR WFP-holder. We didn't know he'd turn out to be a male. Looking back, we wish we didn't give him such a girly name. Mocha started out the smallest but had the smoothest shell growth. After a year, he outgrew all other Sulcatas and still maintained his unpyramided shell which is difficult to achieve in Sulcatas kept in captivity. It's strange because all his housemates had slightly bumpy shells even if they had the same diet, environment, routine, etc.
Below are some of Mocha's best pictures which I took on November of 2009.
Mocha and the Gang
Date: May 1, 2009
Here are pictures of Mocha (my favorite Sulcata) along with other Sulcatas in the same batch. As you can see, Mocha has the smoothest shell of all. It's strange because all of them have the same diet, environment and routine. As you know, there are a lot of heated debates about causes of pyramiding especially on Sulcatas. I guess from Mocha's example, pyramiding is not only dependent on diet or environment but on their genes as well. It seems that some tortoises are less prone to pyramiding than others.