How he came to call the Retreat home: Big Daddy was donated by the Hesperia Zoo. They had two males and could not afford to keep both. We were happy to give Big Daddy a forever home.
Big Daddy is an African spurred tortoise, also called the Sulcata tortoise which inhabits the southern edge of the Sahara desert in northern Africa. It is the third-largest species after the Galapagos and Aldabra, both island based tortoises. Sulcata is the largest of the mainland tortoises. Adults can reach 33 in and can weigh 231 pounds. They grow from hatchling size (2–3 inches) very quickly, reaching 6-10 inches within the first few years of their lives. Sulcata tortoises are herbivores. Primarily, their diets consist of many types of grasses and plants, high in fiber and very low in protein. Feeding of fruit should be avoided. The lifespan of an African spurred tortoise is about 50 to 150 years, though they can live much longer.