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Forest Hingebacks (Kinixys homeana)

Forest hinge-back is certainly one of the most unusual looking tortoises. Patterned with brown and yellow markings on the carapace, many have bright yellow heads. Forest hinge-backed tortoises get their name from the ability to close the rear part of the shell. When the shell is closed it protects the back legs and tail from potential predators. Adults are not too large and reach 7-12 inches from front to back. Forest hinge-backed tortoises enjoy water and you should allow them to wade.

They live in tropical forests and streams in Africa, they are quite shy and do not do well with bright lights. It prefers moist areas! It is semi-aquatic. In nature, it is often found in the water. A humid terrarium with a substrate which the tortoises can dig into works well for this species. Forest hinge-backed tortoises need to be kept between 85-90 degrees during the day and the temperature can drop to 70 degrees at night. Since they come from a humid environment, the humidity should be maintained from 70-80% or higher.

These tortoises are highly omnivorous. They will enjoy mealworms, earthworms, snails and many other invertebrates Live food should make up 50% of the diet. The other 50% percent of their diet should include mushrooms, sweet potatoes and at least a few of the following fruits and vegetables; collard greens, mustard greens, red leaf lettuce, green leaf lettuce, romaine lettuce, dandelion greens, hibiscus leaves and flowers, green onions, spinach, green beans, zucchini, frozen mixed vegetables, apples, bananas, strawberries, figs, peaches, mango, papaya, cantaloupe, grapes, blackberries, and blueberries. A mixed diet of these food items, five to seven times per week, is ideal and will ensure proper growth and health.

The forest hinge-back tortoises are an interesting species that do not make good pets for the first time tortoise owner. They are very shy in general and will not do well in high travel areas. They require a higher level of care and attention to their enclosure. Once they become familiar with their environment they can develop very unique personalities and become a bit more social.