A picture of a pancake tortoise.

Here at Animal World & Snake Farm Zoo, we are kicking off our long-anticipated summer season with an array of new animal encounter experiences! As always, we will be encouraging our guests to get to know our outstanding animal ambassadors up close and personal during these one-of-a-kind animal experiences. In addition to offering animal encounters with fan favorites like our fennec foxes, we will be unveiling six new experiences perfect for all kinds of animal lovers. One of these brand new encounters will feature the adorably tiny pancake tortoise! Discover just how unique these flat-shelled tortoises are first-hand during your very own pancake tortoise encounter!

Our pancake tortoise encounters are quickly filling up. Book yours today while supplies last! We would not want you to miss one on one time with Waffles or Pancake! 

What Makes a Pancake Tortoise Shell So Special?  

If someone were to ask you to describe a tortoise on the spot, you would likely begin by mentioning their signature, slightly curved shell. However, flat-shelled tortoises like the pancake tortoise vary from this collective notion due to their unusually thin and flexible shells. While most tortoises have rounded, solid shells, a pancake tortoise’s shell is flat and has several small holes. These unique tortoise shell qualities allow pancake tortoises to be one of the fastest tortoise species in the world. If the time ever comes for you to bet on which tortoise would win in a race, you can always put money on the pancake tortoise!

A photo of a pancake tortoise.

Since we are discussing why these tortoises’ shells are so special, here are a few more amazing facts about their shells! Did you know that these shells’ flexibility comes in handy when pancake tortoises are fleeing from potential predators? Whereas large, round-shelled tortoises hide in their shells for protection, small, flat-shelled tortoises like the pancake tortoise are able to crawl inside small crevices between rocks to hide from predators. This unique ability allows pancake tortoises to inhabit narrow spaces that are unsuitable for their round-shelled counterparts!

Fun Pancake Tortoise Facts!

Before you see a unique pancake tortoise shell up close and personal during your very own animal encounter, here are some fun pancake tortoise facts to get you even more pumped for this once-in-a-lifetime experience! For instance, did you know that the average pancake tortoise diet consists primarily of grasses? Like other tortoises, pancake tortoises are herbivores, and enjoy a wide assortment of fresh and dry grasses. On occasion, pancake tortoises also enjoy special treats like select fruits and vegetables. When we want to make our pancake tortoises feel as special as they truly are, we make sure to feed them some of their favorite treats! These treats include spinach, broccoli, cabbage, and small amounts of apples and berries. Since tortoises can only enjoy these foods in moderation, our pancake tortoises know just how special these treats are. While eating healthy foods can be a drag, they can be fun to eat when you remind yourself that they are special treats for pancake tortoises!

Now that we have shared some fun facts about pancake tortoises’ favorite foods, here are even more facts about what makes their shells so special! One of the first things you might notice about their shells is their distinct tortoise shell pattern. Since pancake tortoises have flat shells, their ridges (which are also known as scutes) are also flat. This leads us to how these tortoises got their name! Besides having shells that are as flat as a pancake, most pancake tortoises are a similar shade of brown as the beloved breakfast food. Meet these little guys during your very own pancake tortoise encounter to see just how flat their shells are in person!

Even More Fun Facts & Adorable Pancake Tortoise Pictures 

As we wrap up this exciting blog that highlights one of our brand new animal encounters, here are a few extra pancake tortoise facts to get you even more excited for this new encounter experience! While it is no secret just how adorable our pancake tortoise residents are, many of our guests are surprised to learn that they are native to regions of eastern Africa such as Kenya and Tanzania. One of our favorite pancake tortoise facts for kids is that these tortoises are excellent climbers! Due to how flexible and lightweight their shells are, pancake tortoises are able to use their unique physical attributes to their advantage by moving quickly and nimbly. 

The time has finally come to share some amazing pancake tortoise pictures! In these photos, you can see just how small and cute these tortoises really are as well as their uniquely flat tortoise shell and distinct tortoise shell pattern. We hope these pictures make you fall in love with these special reptiles even more, and encourage you to meet them up close and personal during your next trip to the Zoo! 

Two zoo guests having a private encounter with Waffles the pancake tortoise.

Pet a Tiny Pancake Tortoise This Summer in Texas!

Meet one of our adorable pancake tortoises in person to make this summer in Texas one to remember! When you swing by the Zoo for your very own pancake tortoise encounter, you can touch their uniquely flat shells while learning even more about these tiny reptilians. And if you’re looking for additional animal encounter experiences to add to your summer plans, we have plenty more where that came from! To make this summer season extra special, we will be highlighting several new animal encounters! Whether you want to meet the fennec fox’s equally adorable cousin (the bat-eared fox) or would like to participate in a once-in-a-lifetime, private camel feeding experience, we are sure to have the perfect animal experience for you. Check out the fun graphic below for a quick look at some of the other animal encounter experiences we will be offering all summer long!

A graphic that showcases some of our animal encounter offerings.
Follow us on Facebook to keep up with the adorable antics our animals get up to on a regular basis!

Book Now