African Pancake Tortoise

(Malacochersus tornieri)

Seneca Park Zoo is home to three African pancake tortoises, one male and two female. A male and a female reside inside the Animals of the Savanna building, while the second female serves as a program animal.

Animal Facts


African pancake tortoises are strictly herbivorous. They eat dry grasses, fallen fruits and available vegetation.

Status in The Wild

International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List status

These tortoises inhabit isolated locations in eastern Africa, from Kenya to Tanzania. The habitat they prefer is areas of small hills with rocky outcropping in arid thornbrush.

The African pancake tortoises are popular in the pet trade, which has made them considerably vulnerable in the wild. Habitat loss in Africa combined with a slow reproductive rate make this species’ recovery difficult.