The Leopard tortoise(Geochelone pardalis) is a large and attractively marked tortoise which has a wide distribution in sub-Saharan Africa, including recorded localities in southern Sudan, Ethiopia, Eastern Africa (including Natal), Zambia, Botswana, Namibia, Angola and Southwest Africa. This chelonian is a large, grazing species of tortoise that favours semi-arid, thorny to grassland habitats. It is, however, also found in some regions featuring a higher level of precipitation, although some leopard tortoises have been found in rainier areas. In both very hot and very cold weather they may dwell in abandoned fox, jackal, or anteater holes. Leopard Tortoises do not dig other than to make nests in which to lay eggs. Not surprisingly, given its propensity for grassland habitats it grazes, extensively upon mixed grasses. It also favours the fruit and pads of the prickly pear cactus (Opuntia sp.), succulents and thistles. It grows to quite a respectable size, with adults reaching 16 - 18 inches (40 - 50 cm) and 40 pounds (18 Kg). Large examples may be 60 cm (over 2 feet) long and weigh about 80 lbs. They generally have a life span of 50 years.