Red foot tortoises (Geochelone carbonaria) are native to South America and require a hot (80-100F) and humid (appoximately 70%) environment. Cherry head tortoises are the same species, found primarily in Brazil. They're generally smaller with deeper red on their scales and often have marbling on their shells.
Red foots are a hardy species and make fantastic pets, provided adequate space is given. Red foots are a medium-sized species, averaging 12 inches in length as adults. We use coco coir as a substrate for adults and juveniles and sphagnum moss for babies. Both hold moisture well and are mould-resistant. Sphagnum for babies should be moist and fluffy but never saturated. Like all species of tortoises, red foots require UV lighting. However, they don't enjoy basking as much as species from more arid environments.
Red foots eat a wide range of foods. Ours enjoy a diet of approximately 40% dark leafy greens, 25% vegetables (different types of squash including pumpkin, zucchini, yam, etc - all raw and grated), 25% fruits (papaya, cantaloupe, fresh figs, strawberries and cactus pear being favourites) and 10% protein in the form of Mazuri Tortoise Diet and occasionally earth worms. We also supplement twice a week with calcium containing vitamin D3.
Red foots are one of the friendliest and most engaging species we work with; ours always come to greet us when we enter the tortoise room. They love having their chins and heads rubbed too!