TO CARE FOR AUSTRALIAN FRESHWATER TORTOISES
(First published in 1978. National Library of Australia Bib ID: 3029188 ISBN: 0959354204)
Most people know very little about the care of water-tortoises
sold throughout Australia as pets.The majority of these animals
die when they are very young, mainly due to the ignorance
or laziness of their owners. Don't be one of these owners.
Your pet will live a long time if you do your part by devoting
a little time to its welfare.
As pets, however, tortoises may not give you a great deal
of enjoyment. They are wild creatures and often appear miserable
when kept in captivity. They will try their best to escape
and make their way back to their natural environment. It is
not recommended that tortoises and turtles are kept as pets,
but if you do keep them, having taken away their freedom,
by rights you must ensure their lives are long and healthy.
Keeping tortoises properly can be time-consuming. Tortoises
live for well over a hundred years, if they are given the
right conditions. Some have been known to live for nearly
200 years. Unlike other pets, a tortoise is a life-time commitment.
Think of this when you acquire one.
You may have to remember your tortoise in
"TURTLE" or "TERRAPIN"?
Tortoises belong to the class Reptilia, which includes
crocodiles, alligators, lizards,snakes, the tuatura of New
Zealand and of course tortoises and turtles.
TURTLES have flippers and live in the salty waters of the
TORTOISES do not have
flippers, and live either
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(a) on land (terrestrial tortoises) OR,
(b) in fresh water such as rivers, lakes and streams (aquatic
In the USA and Canada aquatic tortoises are called "turtles",
but this is not correct terminology for Australia.
All Australian tortoises are of the aquatic type
TERRAPINS are a type of tortoise native to South America, and
are not available in Australia. It is illegal for members of
the Australian public to keep tortoises and turtles which are
not native to Australia.
PAGE 1 PAGE 2 PAGE
Indoor Living Quarters: PAGE
4 PAGE 5 PAGE
6 PAGE 7 PAGE
8 PAGE 9
Outdoor Living Quarters: PAGE
Feeding: PAGE 11
Hibernation: PAGE 12
Ailments: PAGE 13
Behaviour and Intelligence: PAGE
How Old is the Tortoise? PAGE
Dangers: PAGE 15
Reproduction and Sexual Differences PAGE
References: PAGE 16