Radiated tortoises (Astrochelys radiata) are a critically endangered (CITES1) species, native to Madagascar. They're very hardy in captivity, requiring UV lighting, temps ranging from approximately 80-100F and medium humidity. Ours thrive on a diet of dark leafy greens, cactus pads, and occasional fruit and veggies. They love being outside, grazing on grasses and weeds. They're a large tortoise, attaining a length of 16 inches and weighing up to 35 pounds. Rads are very charming and enjoy human interaction, especially a head scratch and chin rub!
It's often extremely difficult to obtain written documentation supporting the origin of tortoises purchased in Canada. When the opportunity arose to purchase these tortoises as hatchlings, documentation from the seller wasn't available. We purchased these babies as captive bred in Canada; despite our efforts, we couldn't trace or confirm their origin.
We immediately took the hatchlings to a vet who specializes in reptiles. He examined the tortoises, performed fecal exams and it was his opinion that they were captive bred and not wild-caught.
To ensure that it's legal to keep these tortoises without documentation, we invited two wildlife officers from Environment Canada into our home. These officers inspected the hatchlings and assured us that it's perfectly legal to breed, sell and transport them (and their offspring) between provinces. No permit is required. We have documentation from the vet and Environment Canada to support this.
Now that these magnificent animals have reached maturity, our goal is to reproduce them and provide documentation for babies. We're also in contact with someone with the intention of participating in a stud book registry, which currently doesn't exist in Canada.
Here's a video of one of our breeding pairs.