Scientific Name: Kinixys belliana
The Bells Hingback Tortoise gets its name from their hinged shell that can close over their back legs when they feel they are in danger, and then they are more fully protected. They can reach a length of about 8.5 inches and a weight of a little over 4 pounds. Their carapace is grayish brown with tan markings. Adult male Hingeback Tortoises have a longer tale than their female counterparts.
Before putting your new tortoise in its permanent home, it is best to have a temporary set-up, so you can monitor your new pet, during the initial adjustment period. A glass terrarium that is twice as big as the tortoise works well. Make sure there is a hiding place as well. The temperature should be the same as the permanent home, which would be temperatures of 85 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit during the day and 75 to 80 degrees at night. Individual tortoises can be kept in a 50-gallon tank with a screen top for good air ventilation. Humidity levels of about 55% can be maintained by misting the tank once a day. Supply them with a shallow water pan that is big enough for them to climb into and be sure to keep this clean. A good method to use while feeding these tortoises is 80% to 90% plant matter and 10% to 20% animal matter. Wild caught Bell's Hingeback tortoises often have internal parasites, and so feces examination by veterinarians is very important.
A Bell's Hingeback Tortoise can be wonderful in captivity once it is established and settled in.
Bell's Hingeback Tortoise can be a difficult tortoise to keep in captivity and is not recommended for beginners. They require a very specific environmental conditions, and since many of them are imported and not captive bred, these tortoises are often difficult to acclimate. These tortoises can be kept in groups but should be well established in their new surrounding on their own first. Anyone who is thinking of owning this tortoise should consider the time, effort, space, and money that go into owning one.
Bell's Hingeback Tortoise is an African tortoise that lives in savannah and grassland areas.
Bell's Hingeback Tortoises should be fed a variety of vegetables, fruits, and insects.