Tortoise Bath Time

Published 09 January

Animal Studies students have given our red-footed tortoises their weekly wash as part of their stock duties.

The tortoises are bathed once or twice each week, which helps maintain good skin condition and health, as well as providing a good chance for a health check. It also counts as a good form of exercise as the tortoises make their own way to the bathing room.

With stock duties, each group works at least an hour a week, taking general daily care of the animals (feeding, cleaning, watering). Occasionally other jobs will be involved such as health checking the animals, water changing the aquariums or redesigning enclosures. All the animals are spot cleaned daily which involves taking out any bedding/substrate which is messy and replacing with clean versions.

Red-footed tortoises are originally from South America and live on forest floors, so need a warm, humid environment in captivity. The species doesn’t hibernate meaning it stays active throughout the winter months.

Laura Scott, Animal Studies tutor, said: “It’s great for the students to get hands-on experience with the animals and to understand properly how they should be cared for.”

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