African spurred tortoise found illegally held in captivity in Albufeira
The GNR Environmental Protection Nucleus discovered an African spurred tortoise yesterday, being illegally held in captivity, in a property in Albufeira.
“Following a complaint about a tortoise being kept inside a residence, the NPA team visited the property, where they found that it was an African spurred tortoise”, said a statement from the Faro Territorial Command of the GNR.
During the course of the police investigations, it was possible to determine the identity of the tortoise’s keeper, having drawn up a report for the detention of exotic species in captivity without authorization or registration.
The National Republican Guard, through the Nature and Environment Protection Service (SEPNA) can be contacted via the Environment and Territory Line (808 200 520), if the public need to report infractions or concerns.
The African spurred tortoise, sulcata tortoise (Geochelone sulcata), is one of the largest tortoise species in the world. It has a brown to yellow shell and very thick, yellowish-brown skin, along with pointed scales, or spurs, on its legs. Native to arid and semiarid regions of Africa, these tortoises can adapt to various living conditions, which is one reason why they have become popular as a ‘pet’. They can grow to around 75cm long, and weigh up to 70kg.