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A striking shell pattern of yellow-striped stars helps the Indian star tortoise camouflage within dry grassy patches. Unfortunately, the beautiful shell pattern catches the eye of pet owners, fueling illegal collection of tortoises from the wild.


Indian Star Turtle perched on food bowl in habitat

Did You Know?

Male tortoises try to flip each other over onto their backs when competing for mates.

Quick Facts

Latin Name:
Geochelone elegans

Southern India and Sri Lanka

Up to 11 in

Zoo Location:
Reptile House

Grass, weeds, fruits and flowers

Risk Status:
Species at Risk (IUCN—Vulnerable)