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Burmese Star Tortoise (Geochelone platynota) Fact Sheet: Managed Care


From semi-natural habitats in Myanmar, as reported by Kalyar Platt et al. (2014), except as noted.


  • Structures for shade and hiding, such as grass or leaf piles, rocks, and woody ground debris
  • Shallow water pools for drinking and soaking
    • Tortoises should be able to partially (but not fully) submerge
    • Daily water changes
  • Heat lamps or dry vegetation can prevent excessive chilling at night
    • Hatchlings should not be exposed to damp conditions during cooler months
  • Separate housing for hatchlings and adults
    • Sometimes also for adult males and females (particularly during breeding) (N. Haislip, personal communication, 2022)


  • Adults fed once per day
    • Variety of foliage
      • Watercress
      • Grasses
      • Carrots
      • Roselle (Malvaceae)
      • Prickly pear cactus
      • Dry grass or hay
  • Infrequently (~ once per month), can be offered fruits, such as cantaloupe, papaya, watermelon (N. Haislip, personal communication, 2022)
  • Hatchlings
    • Food finely chopped
    • Vitamin supplements
  • Food offered on trays or wooden surfaces
    • Uneaten food removed at end of each day


  • With proper care, Burmese Star Tortoises breed readily
  • In Myanmar breeding program, eggs incubated in ground nest under ambient conditions
    • Other locations: temperature-controlled incubators can be used
  • Hatchlings often raised separately from adults
  • Provided water for soaking

New Generation

Burmese Star Tortoise hatchlings at the San Diego Zoo.

Image credit: © San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance. All rights reserved..

Raised for Conservation

Burmese Star Tortoises in Myanmar assurance colony

Burmese Star Tortoises in Myanmar breeding colonies are fed on trays or wooden surfaces. This helps prevent unhealthy bacteria and parasites from being ingested.

With proper care, Burmese Star Tortoises breed well in managed care. Burmese Star Tortoises in Myanmar breeding colonies are raised for 3-5 years before being reintroduced into protected areas.

Image credit: Lewis Medlock, © WCS/TSA Myanmar Turtle Program. All rights reserved. Used with permission.

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