Clayton spotted this vibrant large leopard tortoise (Geochelone pardalis) munching away right in front of our house an hour ago. It hasn’t been too bothered by our presence and furiously clamps down into the wet sandy soil, tongue out, to retrieve what moisture it can get. Eventually the tortoise began consuming green grasses and roots too, tearing them out of the ground and investigating the underlying soil. Kneeling down next to the tortoise I could hear its hollow exhales and loud munching of its mouth full of sand. We’ve been so lucky to observe so many leopard tortoises here at Mpala — probably about twenty in the last month and a half. We’ve even seen a baby, a stunning young juvenile this morning, and two tortoises following one another. No pancake tortoises (Malacochersus tornieri) yet, but we are on the lookout!
Photographed after slight disturbance