Are you wondering whether it is safe to feed mangoes to tortoises and the benefits that come with it? Below we take a detailed look into tortoises that can comfortably eat fruit.
Can tortoises eat mango?
Fruit-eating tortoises such as rainforest or tropical tortoises can eat mangoes. However, the Mediterranean and Grazing tortoises should either eat mangoes sparingly or none at all. This is because their digestive system is not designed to digest the high sugar content of mangoes.
Always make sure you remove the uneaten mangoes at the end of the day since mangoes have been known to attract wasps that can end up harming your tortoise.
Which tortoises can eat Fruits?
The diet that a tortoise eats in captivity should be similar or very close to the one that they eat in the wild. The geographical location of a tortoise plays a very important part in determining its diet.
Based on the geographical locations of tortoises we have three types of tortoises which also have different types of diets. But what remains constant among all these tortoises is the fact that they all need a high fiber content in their diet.
Based on these factors we have three main types of tortoises as shown in these tables together with different types of diets.
The Mediterranean Tortoises
|Mediterranean Tortoises||Preferred Diets|
|Greek Tortoises, Spur Thighed (Testudo Graeca)||100% variety of weeds and flowering plants|
|Hermanns tortoise (Testudo Hermanni)||Limit or avoid: Fruits, vegetables, and salads|
|Marginated Tortoise (Testudo Marginata) and the|
|Russian / Horsefield (Testudo Horsefieldi)|
|Egyptian Tortoise (Testudo kleinmanni)|
Experts advise against feeding fruits to this group of tortoises, however, some experts point out that when fed moderately. The Mediterranean tortoises can eat some fruits.
|Grazing Tortoises||Preferred diets|
|African Sulcata Tortoises||70% mixed grass and Hay|
|Leopard Tortoises||20-30% flowering plants, succulents, and weeds.|
|Indian Tortoises||Limit or Avoid: Fruits, vegetables, and salads|
The same advice applies to this group of tortoises they should either be fed fruits moderately or none at all.
The Rainforest/Tropical tortoises
|Rainforest Tortoises||Preferred Diet|
|Red-footed tortoises||70% weeds, flowering plants, and other greens|
|Yellow-footed tortoises [Geochelone denticulata]||30% Fruits and a small amount of animal protein|
|Burmese Brown Tortoises|
|Kinixys homeana (Home’s Hingeback tortoise|
Rainforest or tropical tortoises can eat fruits as part of their diet comfortably. Given that these tortoises come from areas that are forested, they are able to eat fruits now and then on the floor of the forest.
Their digestive systems have also adapted to digesting the high sugar content of fruits without any issues with their health.
The fact that when they access fruits at the base of the forest they are overripe equips their digestive systems to digest the sugar in fruits without issues.
The rainforest tortoises can also eat some animal protein such as meat and cat and dog food sparingly as part of a balanced diet. This is because, on the forest floors, they occasionally eat meat in form of carrion.
Are mangoes Healthy to Tortoises
Mangoes just like other fruits provide several nutrients to fruit-eating tortoises and can also be beneficial to Mediterranean and grazing tortoises when fed moderately.
Below is a list of benefits that tortoises can get from eating mangoes.
Just like most other fruits, the highest percentage of mangoes nutrients is made of water. While tortoises need daily access to clean and fresh water on a daily basis in their enclosure.
They also get water from the food they eat, some of the foods that are great at hydrating tortoises include fruits and vegetables.
Fruits such as watermelon, tomatoes, bananas, apples, pineapples, strawberries, and vegetables like celery, cucumber, broccoli, and radishes are a perfect way to ensure that your tortoises remain hydrated.
Tortoises need vitamins in their diet for proper growth and development and to help with boosting immunity. While you can buy these vitamins from most pet stores as supplements, your tortoise can also get these vitamins from the feeds it eats, most specifically fruits and vegetables are a good source of vitamins such as vitamin A.
Vitamin A facilitates the following processes in tortoises
- Boosts immunity
- promotes the growth of healthy bones and structure
Symptoms of Vitamin A deficiency in tortoises
- Thickening of the mucous membrane
- Drying up of the respiration secreoral and respiration
- Digestive and respiratory track infections
Mangoes are also a good source of vitamin C, however, most reptiles do not suffer from vitamin C deficiency since it can be processed from the kidneys.
The only time that they suffer from vitamin C deficiency is when they are suffering from kidney diseases.
Dietary fiber forms a very important part of all tortoise’s diets. In the sense that tortoises are hindgut fermentors meaning that high fiber is a necessity on daily basis.
Fiber is a good source of calories and energy and plays a big part in facilitating gut motility. However, when fed in excess, fiber inhibits the absorption of trace minerals and calories.
Mangoes are a good source of fiber though should not be used as the sole source of fiber in your tortoise diet, on the contrary mangoes should just form a small portion of your tortoise’s diet.
Grasses and hays are a good source of fiber for your tortoises and should be fed in large portions. Tortoises safe grasses can also be planted in tortoises enclosures for them to eat directly. You can read this post we wrote here about grasses that tortoises can eat.
Can desert tortoises eat mangoes? Desert tortoises should either eat mangoes moderately or none at all. This is because their digestive system is not designed to digest the high sugars. Overfeeding mangoes can lead to health issues.
Can Red foot tortoises eat mangoes? Red foot tortoises belong to the fruit-eating tortoises and can comfortably eat mangoes without issues.
Before feeding fruits such as mangoes to your tortoise, you should always ensure you understand the type of tortoises. Some tortoises can eat fruits comfortably while others will have health issues when they eat a lot of fruits. For the Rainforest tortoises, you can feed mangoes without issues as part of a balanced diet.
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