Soda, Cola, and our Radiated Tortoises
"Soda" is our male Radiated tortoise and is the eldest resident of the garden. We've had him since he was only 4 inches. He's now around 14 inches and more than 8 kilos. Of all the tortoises we've kept since 1999, Soda is the friendliest. He consistenly approaches us to be petted. He will stand up high and stretch his head while being scratched. Nothing makes a tortoise owner happier than a tortoise that is healthy, friendly and active!
"Cola" is Soda's forever partner and the loving mother of our baby Rads. She is a big female Radiata measuring about 14.5 inches and 8.5 kilos. Despite her size, she is very gentle even with our baby tortoises. My vet described her as an old soul trapped in a tortoise's body. It was a perfect description!
Soda and Cola are both Radiated tortoises which are endemic to the country of Madagascar. The Radiated tortoise is one of the most attractive and sought-after tortoise species of all. They are classified as Critically Endangered by the IUCN and listed on CITES Appendix I because of poaching and destruction of their habitat. They are a long-lived species with a recorded lifespan of 188 years. They are also the largest of the species that have a star or radiating pattern on their carapace. Top of mind, based on experience and past research, here are the other starred species in the world: Indian Star (Geochelone elegans), Burmese Star (Geochelone platynota), Spider (Pyxis arachnoides), Flat-backed Spider (Pyxis planicauda), Pancake (Malacochersus tornieri), Geometric (Psammobates geometricus) and Tent tortoises (Psammobates tentorius). Scroll below for photos of our Radiated tortoises!
Beautiful Day at Soda's Tortoise Garden
Date: Aug 10, 2016
Here are a few photos of Soda, doing his favorite pose. Also shown below are our other Radiated tortoises, Rootbeer, and Champagne, a true super high-yellow Radiated tortoise.
Soda and other Juvenile Radiated tortoises
Date: Jul 31, 2015
Here you can see the size difference between an adult male Radiated tortoise and juvenile Rads.
Soda's Favorite Activities
Date: Jul 21, 2015
Some of Soda's daily shenanigans!
Juvenile Radiated tortoises
Date: Jun 1, 2015
Just sharing some videos of a few 4 to 5.5-inch Radiated tortoises.
Date: Aug 12, 2011
Experimenting with a 100mm macro lense. I will try to post more photos.
Introducing Cola, Our Adult Female Radiated Tortoise
Date: Jun 10, 2010
Soda's forever partner! We look forward to breeding such a wonderful species in the future! Were hoping to produce Radiated babies with Soda and Cola!
Now and Then
Date: Mar 30, 2010
This is a comparison of Soda's picture taken on December 2006, December 2009, and February 2010. On the first photo, he can easily fit in the palm of my hand.
Radiated Tortoise Compared to a Sulcata
Date: Mar 12, 2010
Below are photos of Soda, a Radiated tortoise compared to my Sulcata tortoise, Mocha.
It's a Boy!!
Date: Mar 12, 2010
There are a number of ways to determine the sex of a tortoise (male has long tail and concave plastron). But until the male shows his male organ, one can never be 100% sure. On a sunny day of February 2010, during Soda's bath time, we confirmed that Soda is indeed he! This usually happens when Radiated tortoises are at least 10 inches long.
Soda's Growth Through The Years
Date: Feb 8, 2010
I've compiled all top-view photos of Soda and included the month and year of each photo. Notice the white growth lines as they turn to yellow. From 4.25 inches on October 2006, Soda grew up to around 12 inches on February 2010.
Radiated Tortoise Juvies
Date: Nov 11, 2009
Back in 2009, I also purchased four 4-inch Radiated tortoises. I didn't have them for long because they were part of an important trade that happened a few months later. Here are random photos of them walking around the backyard and a few more pictures of them eating.
Such beautiful and rare creatures!
November 2009 Random Photos
Date: Nov 8, 2009
A few photos at the garden.
December 2008 Random Photos
Date: Dec 12, 2008
This is Soda, my Geochelone Radiata. Nothing makes an owner happier than a healthy tortoise with tons of personality! Soda is simply my favorite!
Old Photos of Soda taken at the yard
Date: Dec 8, 2006
Soda was around 4.25 inches at this time.
Soda With Other Tortoises
Date: Jun 25, 2006
Soda was still very small here. He was around 4 inches in 2006.