In Brazil they are known as "jabuti". In Venezuela they are called "morrocoy". The red-footed tortoise is native to South America and a popular exotic "pet" in other parts of the world. Due to overhunting by man, habitat loss, and the exotic pet trade, the red-footed tortoise is now a protected species. It cannot be exported without a permit from native lands.
Red-footed tortoises are so-called because of the red scales found on their legs and feet. They are a medium sized tortoise, reaching about 12" to 16" in length when full grown. Males will develop an "hourglass" shape at adulthood and typically have a longer, thicker tail than females.
"Footloose" was destined to become an exotic pet, however due to a malformed back leg the pet store looking to sell him was forced to give him away instead. Their "perfect pet" policy prevented them from selling Footloose, so an employee cared for him until he outgrew a small aquarium. Black Pine adopted Footloose in 2008 and will care for him for the remainder of his life.
InfoBox - Red-footed Tortoise
Status: Least concern, but protected.
Diet in wild: greens, fruits, vegetables, carrion.
Life span in wild: 40 - 50 years.
Weight: 15 to 20 pounds.
Native habitat: Southern Central America and northern South America.