Crocworld’s rehabilitated tortoise needs a new name!

27 February 2024

Crocworld’s rehabilitated tortoise needs a new name!


In the few months that the three-legged leopard tortoise has lived at Crocworld Conservation Centre, it has already befriended a fellow ‘tripod’ tortoise who is also being rehabilitated at the Scottburgh centre. To make the latest Crocworld resident really feel part of the family, the team at Crocworld is calling on the public to suggest a name for the tortoise – and stand a chance to win tickets for a family of four to the centre!


“The leopard tortoise was found by a golfer at Umkomaas Golf Course and the poor guy had one immobile leg and an injury in another,” explained Crocworld Conservation Centre Manager, James Wittstock, who estimated the tortoise’s age at around 15 to 20 years. “He went to uShaka Sea World for treatment as he had a bad leg break which required amputation, and treatment on another leg. He has healed and was moved to Crocworld where he is doing brilliantly with our other Leopard tortoises. He’s even made friends with another tortoise who also has three legs!”


Fast Facts about Leopard Tortoises

  • The leopard tortoise is the fourth largest species of tortoise in the world.
  • The leopard tortoise gets its name from the spotted pattern on the top of their shell, or carapace.
  • Leopard tortoises are crepuscular which means most active during the early morning and just before sunset.
  • Leopard tortoises are herbivores and graze on grasses and fruit.
  • The leopard tortoise is one of the Little Five joined by the elephant shrew, red-billed buffalo weaver, antlion, and rhino beetle.


Crocworld competition time!


Crocworld Conservation Centre is running a competition on its Facebook page to name the new tortoise. Members of the public can visit the page to share their suggested names, and stand a chance to win four tickets to the centre! Visitors to Crocworld can also visit the latest reptilian resident who is now living his best life.


Visit the many Crocworld residents


Alongside its leopard tortoises, Crocworld is home to a variety of reptiles including snakes, the world-famous Henry the Nile crocodile and his best friend, Colgate, as well as South Africa’s most endangered lizard - the Durban Dwarf Burrowing Skink.


Beyond its residents, the indigenous coastal forest surrounding the centre is home to more than 200 bird species (more than some countries!) including the iconic Palm-nut Vulture and rarely sighted Narina Trogon. Several antelope species such as Bushbuck, Grey Duiker and the diminutive Blue Duiker (South Africa’s smallest antelope) can be found foraging around the driveway and forest in the early morning.


The heart of conservation


Crocworld is a member of Species360 - a global conservation entity that facilitates information collection from 1 200 aquariums, zoos, and universities, as well as research and governmental facilities worldwide across 99 countries on six continents. Members like Crocworld curate the Zoological Information Management System (ZIMS), the world’s most comprehensive database of knowledge on more than 22 000 species, for the global fight against extinction.


An important part of the conservation element is the on-site breeding programmes run by Crocworld which are instrumental in furthering the genetic diversity of threatened species. Some previous breeding programmes include the once-endangered American Alligator, the Jackal Buzzard, Marabou Storks, and Cape Vultures.


Grab a bite!


Fish Eagle Café, found withing Crocworld, boasts great food and drinks in one of the most scenic settings. The exquisite sea view from the café’s wraparound deck gives visitors the chance to watch playful dolphins as well as migrating whales while enjoying a great meal. Contact Fish Eagle Café on 083 658 7073 or emailing


Become a Crocworld member


Crocworld offers memberships that are valid for 12 months from the date of purchase, so stop by and buy one whenever!


1 x Adult Membership: R375

1 x Children Membership: R250

1 x Pensioner Membership: R250

1 x Family of 4 (2 adults and 2 children aged 4 to 12 years): R900

*Children under 4 years enter free of charge.


For more on Crocworld, visit, ‘Crocworld Conservation Centre’ on Facebook or call 039 976 1103.