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Cose up view of a Marginated Tortoise
The Marginated Tortoise is a rare “garden tortoise” species that can be found in only a limited area mainly at the base of Mount Olympus in mainland Greece. Because of their scarcity, it is illegal to collect and export Marginated tortoises from their homeland. Therefore captive breeding is important to the survival of this species that can live to well over 100 years of age. It was not imported in large numbers to the UK however, luckily we have been successful in breeding these tortoises in captivity in the UK.

The Marginated tortoise is used to living in Greece with warm summers however, they are hardy and adaptable and can therefore live happily in the UK climate with a little help and hibernate in the winter months after the first few years of life.

Marginated tortoises are the largest known European tortoise and reach on average about 14 inches in length having been only an inch long on hatching. As with many tortoises, the female is larger than the male. This species is named after its flaring rear shell forming a beautiful skirt, which occurs in both sexes but is more pronounced in the male making it one of the nicest and most attractive tortoise species to keep.

Although the Marginated tortoise varies in coloration most have a beautiful brown and cream colour shell. Their skin tends to be a creamy, yellowish colour but exposed skin darkens with age to a dark grey colour. Baby tortoises on hatching weigh just 10 grammes and can grow to an average of 3 kilos in weight as a fully grown adult.

Our Marginated tortoises have friendly and distinctive characters, they get to know their owners, will follow us and hand feed. We have noticed that our baby hatchlings appear to prefer to be in the company of another baby tortoise, they are inquisitive creatures and they will follow each other about during the day and huddle up together at night.

Mediterranean tortoises are required by law (DEFRA/CITES) to have a certificate (Article 10) proving their captive bred origin. This is to prevent the sale of wild tortoises, however often tortoises are found for sale in pet shops that have been imported from abroad where certificates are obtained illegally and these tortoises often carry diseases.

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