Testudo kleinmanni

Welcome to the website of Testudo kleinmanni, the Egyptian tortoise. Testudo kleinmanni is one of the Mediterranean tortoise species. And they are endangered species too. The reason for that is not just the destruction of the environment, but it is mostly because of illegal sales and purchase. A lot of people might not believe or understand this serious situation. But you will find out and see how serious this illegal matter is. So, Cairo American College 8th graders are participating on this project. And I am here to introduce this project. We have a place for tortoises at the roof of middle school building of CAC.

We have formed "pens" to keep tortoise in order. There are about 150 tortoises. And each student(8th grader) has their own tortoise to take care of. We measure their carapace length and mass once a month. We also hydrate them for about 5~10 minutes once a week. For drinking, we always have water in the pen.

Our tortoises get to eat cabbage, cucumber, and some others. We feed them after school everyday at about 3:10 PM. Using tap water, we wash vegetables 2 or 3 times and put them on a piece of plate. We used to add vitamins for dogs, but we don't do it anymore.

It was quiet cold last winter. So, what we did was made baskets for the tortoises to get in. We put straw and a hot water bottle - the ones that are rubber outside. But they don't seem to work, because we don't change water often enough for the bottle to be constantly warm.

Testudo kleinmanni seems to be very sensitive to the environment. Almost every tortoise is found inside the basket when the weather is cool. They recently(March,1998) seem to have roundworms. We need some help for the medications and/or treatments.

Kleinmannis are very small compared to other tortoise species. Especially, males are usually smaller than females.

One of the things that we found out during our kleinmanni care was that they love to climb. Whenever there is some kind of object they can lean on, they will try to climb up. Here is a picture of a kleinmanni trying to climb over to the other side of the pen.

There is one thing that we hope to accomplish. Well, we are trying to save kleinmanni. So, why don't we help them reproduce? It's not a simple matter. Even if they succeeded mating, it's going to be hard for us to create the environment they need for hatching. We will need right kind of sand and food for young tortoises.

There is something really interesting thing about kleinmanni mating. Testudo kleinmannis create a strange sound usually while mating. However, there are some incidents happening: they sometimes produce same vocalized sound that is produced during mating without being close to any other tortoise. I experienced this too, when I was taking tortoise pictures in February, 1998. I was surprised that this tortoise was making that sound all alone. You can click here to download kleinmanni vocalization.

That tells almost all about our project. We really want to save this species. I mean, this is just too bad. I can go down to Road 9, here in Cairo and buy an almost newborn kleinmanni with 5 Egyptian Pounds(approximately $1.60). The tortoise dealers are bringing cages full of tortoises!

We need to do something, but all we can do is buy them and take care of them. We are doing a lot of things like food sales to gather money. Actually, this is part of my contribution toward kleinmanni. I really want to help kleinmanni, for making money and taking care for them myself seem to be beyond my(our) reach. We need as much information as possible to lessen the chance of kleinmanni extinction. Sometimes, financial problem stands in the way of our will to protect kleinmanni. We will be glad to discuss about this project or to receive donation.


----------------------------------------------------------------------- Some links ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Visit CAC website at tc.cac.edu.eg just to get an idea what kind of school CAC is

Visit CTTC at www.tortoise.org/archives/kleinhus.html to learn about Testudo kleinmanni Captive Husbandary

Visit TT at ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/ttrust/page10.htm to learn more about what's going on with kleinmanni

Visit Slowcoach at easyweb.easynet.co.uk/~slowcoach/slow/sloinfo.html to learn about kleinmanni & some other Mediterranean tortoises

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------------------------------------------------------------------------------ News --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

ROUND WORMS (April 2) - Check out what we are doing for tortoises.

EGGS! EGGS! EGGS! (April 25) - Tortoises are laying eggs!!!!!!


You can send comments, suggestions to me, or 8th grade science teachers.

email me at h-cho@tc.cac.edu.eg


Bob Mason & Kim White


Last updated on 04/25/98