Just like the Freshwater Turtles, there are
no Tortoises native to New Zealand, but there are a few species kept as pets
here. Following is a list of Tortoises that I have personally
seen in private hands in New Zealand. (Whether all of these
species are still alive and kicking, I wouldn't be 100% sure of today.) There are also a
lot of other species of Tortoises that are known to have been kept as
pets in New Zealand. Tortoises, if well cared for, can live for over 100 years so
are definitely a long term pet!
Box Turtles Terrapene spp.
Hermann's Tortoise Testudo hermanni
Spur Thighed Tortoise Testudo graeca
Malayan Box Turtle Cuora amboinensis
Yellow Headed Tortoise Indotestudo elongata
Gopher Tortoise Gopherus spp.
Leopard Tortoise Geochelone pardalis
The top three species on the above list have been
successfully bred in recent years here in New Zealand by private breeders. They are
however only bred in relatively small numbers and are therefore extremely hard to come by.