Radiated Tortoises are wild animals that are evolutionarily adapted to a very specific habitat. In contrast to most domestic and farm animals, they cannot adapt to different climatic zones or to ecological conditions foreign to their species. Due to their limited adaptability, it is imperative that captive husbandry be as close to nature and species-appropriate as possible. Often, the husbandry situations offered are well-intentioned, but far removed from the natural needs of these animals. Even minor mistakes or deviations from a near-natural husbandry can have serious health consequences for Astrochelys radiata after a short time.
Radiated Tortoises are neither a children's toy nor an expensive prestige object from terraristics. Radiated Tortoises are an endangered species and therefore belong only in expert and responsible hands! Since tortoises can only articulate minimally, they are particularly dependent on the expertise, empathy and generosity of their owner in human care.
We are aware that very few tortoise keepers have the space, resources and possibilities of a zoological facility. This is also not a prerequisite for a species-appropriate and professional keeping of Astrochelys radiata on a private level. However, we owe it to these beautiful animals that at least the basic keeping parameters listed in the checklist below can be conscientiously fulfilled. Animal welfare is absolutely central for us and is not negotiable in a sales talk. All of our customers who have met us personally also know that we are always generous with advice and action when it comes to mutual transparency and compliance with the general terms and conditions.
It is really a matter of the heart for us, that our Radiated tortoises offspring come back into responsible hands and into a species-appropriate attitude. Unfortunately, the desire of many prospective buyers to acquire exotic ray turtles is often much greater than the possibility of keeping these beautiful and rare animals in a manner that is close to species-appropriate. The practice and our Radiata-Hotline also shows that many beginners are completely overwhelmed with the keeping after a short time, and a large part of the animals die miserably after a few years or never reach the reproductive age. However, by transparently communicating the necessary husbandry options and resources, we can in most cases ensure that the basis for species-appropriate husbandry is available, or place useful information to remedy any deficiencies before the acquisition.
Checklist before buying a Radiated Tortoise
We always appeal to the insight and common sense of interested parties to consider the acquisition well in advance and also honestly question their own husbandry options and resources. We recommend to check the following points conscientiously before buying a Radiated Tortoise:
Checklist for buying a Radiated Tortoise
We recommend carefully and conscientiously checking the following points when buying a Radiated Tortoise:
FAQ about the checklist topic
FAQ "...I live in Switzerland and am the owner of a Radiated Tortoise without official papers and proof of origin. I bought this animal a long time ago / inherited it / got it as a gift / took it with me on vacation. Today I know that this was unwise and a big, punishable mistake. Unfortunately, I now have to part with my Radiated Tortoise for private reasons. Can I apply for papers for this animal with the authorities afterwards?"
Attention: Radiated Tortoises without valid documents are and remain illegal! It is not possible to apply for papers for these animals at a later date. An illegal status does not expire either. It is strictly forbidden to trade these animals or to make a border crossing with them. In case of contravention there is the threat of confiscation and fines (an exception are ray-turtles, which were demonstrably imported into Switzerland before 1973, i.e. before the Washington Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species)! Ignorance and guileless intentions do not protect from penalties!
We suspect that currently a large number of undocumented ray turtles are living in Switzerland or are kept privately. Since no additional permit is required for the keeping of Astrochelys radiata and there is also no obligation to register, the official controls are largely limited to the trade and border crossing. Keeping a Radiated Tortoise without papers is in principle not a criminal offense within Switzerland, only in case of suspicion of abuse or other illegal activities, the authorities become active and also control private stocks. Because breeding with these animals is not allowed officially, they mostly remain genetically isolated and excluded from the conservation of the species. As long as no amnesty is provided for undocumented ray turtles, they simply remain blocked for life in Switzerland.
We are of the opinion that illegal and smuggled ray turtles cannot be held responsible for their status and are therefore all the more entitled to a species-appropriate home! Therefore, regardless of the status of your turtle, you are still responsible for optimal housing, husbandry and care. Should you for any reason no longer be able to care for your ray turtle, BEVET recommends that you also document animals without papers and place them within Switzerland with a placement contract. In the placement contract the illegal status of the animal is disclosed and all parties are informed about the circumstances of the origin and free release within Switzerland. It is important to note that these animals may not be traded in the future and may not cross the border! By documenting and signing the previous owner, a new ownership can at least prove that they cannot be held responsible for the origin, procurement and illegal status of the animal.
In case of uncertainty and further questions on the subject, please contact the Federal Veterinary Office in Bern directly. You will find the contact details under the heading Links on this homepage.
FAQ "...Your comments on the homepage gave the impression that you only sell animals to wealthy prospective buyers who have luxury facilities for tortoises. For fear of criticism, we are afraid that with our simpler husbandry situation, we will not be able to purchase a Radiated Tortoise from you. Do species-appropriate facilities for Radiated Tortoises always have to be connected with a high financial expenditure?"
It is neither our intention nor in our interest to criticize or badmouth other husbandry situations. From our many years of work and experience with the keeping and breeding of Astrochelys radiata, we simply point out to interested parties before the acquisition of absolutely necessary basic equipment and possible optimization potential to be able to keep Radiated Tortoises healthy in the long term. There is absolutely nothing elitist behind it. Also our own keeping situation could be extended and improved with the appropriate financial means. A constant questioning and optimizing of the own attitude situation always benefits the animals in the end. However, on this homepage under the heading Checklist The points listed below are to be understood as minimum requirements for the species-appropriate keeping of Astrochelys radiata in our latitudes. Our customers will confirm that all those who take our well-meant suggestions for improvement into account and implement them will always be able to purchase a Radiated Tortoise from us. However, animal welfare is not negotiable!
Yes, we also sell Radiated Tortoises to serious, informed and well-prepared beginners who already have a species-appropriate indoor and natural outdoor facility (garden) before the purchase. We are also available after the purchase for questions about keeping and breeding.