Did you know that a group of tortoises are called a Creep?
Tortoises are generally solitary animals, however, most Capetonians may have noted a tortoise or two travelling on the same road as they do. Having wild tortoises roaming free in our city is a privilege. Unfortunately, this may soon change as motorists continue to pick up these slow travellers and remove them from their natural habitat. This act condemns them to a life of captivity.
The most common tortoise travellers we encounter on our roads in the Cape Metropole are the Angulate (Chersina angulata) and Common padloper (Homopus areolatus) tortoises. Every so often someone may encounter a species that has a flatter appearance called a Marsh terrapin (Pelomedusa subrufa).
Cape of Good Hope SPCA Wildlife Department appeals to Cape Town motorists to leave our tortoises be. Wildlife Senior Inspector, Lizl Pienaar says “Wild animals belong in the Wild”. Tortoises urinate as a defence mechanism, which could cause them to dehydrate if they are not near a suitable water source to replenish their fluids.
Should you encounter one on the road, move it to the side of the road in the direction it was heading, admire it, even photograph it, but best leave it where you found it. Let our tortoises go their way and allow the next person to admire them in their natural environment.