Saving the Sulcatas


Since 1973, the San Diego Turtle & Tortoise Society has been successful in rescuing, rehabilitating, and rehoming thousands of turtles and tortoises throughout California. 

However, due to mass sales from the pet industry and backyard breeders, we have seen an overwhelming increase in the number of people asking us to take in their sulcata tortoises that they can no longer care for. Most of these tortoises are purchased as small hatchlings and quickly outgrow their initial set ups. For the unprepared this causes a real dilemma resulting in shell deformities, poor health, and sometimes death. To remain healthy, these tortoises, which eventually reach 200+ lbs, must have large, secure, outdoor enclosures with plenty of grass and weeds to graze on. Heated housing is also necessary to maintain temperatures of 80-85 degrees.

Needless to say these tortoises aren’t for everyone and are more difficult to place. SDTTS to the rescue! In July 2018, the Society used a large portion of their funds to create a sulcata sanctuary on a 1.5 acre property in Ramona. During the following 8 months we have been able to rescue more than 50 sulcatas and adopt out 45.  Although these are encouraging figures, we always have a significant waiting list for more incoming. It’s heartbreaking to know that many of the tortoises waiting for an opening are surviving in substandard conditions and may reach the point of no return in the interim. More and more are being abandoned in fields or along the roadsides becoming targets for dogs, coyotes, raccoons and inclimate weather.

The existing Ramona enclosures simply aren’t enough to help those in desperate need of a new habitat. Although we have the dedicated space, we need your help in purchasing the necessary materials to create 5 more enclosures. Block, boards, housing, heat lamps, edible plants, shade trees, and veterinary bills will be the primary expenses for this endeavor.

Please reach into your hearts and budget to help us make a difference for these vulnerable pets for now and in the years to come. Your tax deductible donation will be much appreciated and used well.

TJ Harmon