The Pancake Tortoise has a soft flat shell. Their unique appearance has made them popular, causing many to be captured as pets.
Tortoise Shell: 17.8cm Max.
(Source: Doubutsu Sekai-isan* Red Data Animals Kodansha) (*World Animal Heritage)
The Pancake Tortoise lives in the forests of Kenya and Tanzania in Africa.
They eat grass and cactus.
The Pancake Tortoise hides and lives between cracks in rocks. This has made them very adept at rock climbing.
A soft-shelled tortoise?!
The Pancake Tortoise lives in Kenya and Tanzania in Africa. For a tortoise, it has some peculiarities. For instance, its shell is flat like a pancake, and actually quite soft. The Pancake Tortoise hides and lives between cracks in rocks. At first sight of an enemy, the Pancake Tortoise will scurry into its home and fill the crack by bloating its shell. In this way, they avoid being dragged out by their predators.
Captured as pets...
While their flat appearance has protected them from their predators, it has also attracted the eyes of people. Their uniqueness has drawn so much attention that many have been captured as pets. Usually, the Pancake Tortoise lays only one egg at a time. This means they cannot avoid extinction if they are constantly being captured. Even though Kenya and Tanzania have rules to protect the Pancake Tortoise, some people are concerned that there are poachers who ignore those rules.
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