Red-footed tortoise

Latin Name
Geochelone carbonaria




The red-footed tortoise is named for colorful markings on its limbs and face. The species can reach 14 inches in length. Its greenish-brown shell displays upraised points on the central plates.



South America, from Panama to Argentina. The species is also found on the islands of Trinidad and Barbados.


While the species is impacted by habitat loss and the illegal pet trade, the International Union for Conservation of Nature considers it a species of least concern.


The red-footed tortoise occupies a variety of habitats over its range, including forests, grasslands and agricultural areas.


Red-footed tortoises are omnivores, feeding on fruits, greens, plants, vegetables and dead animals it encounters.

Life History

After breeding, females bury 5-15 eggs in nests excavated in the forest floor.

Bonus Content

A red-footed tortoise enjoys some flowery enrichment.

Flowery Fun for Mother's Day
Happy Mother’s Day! Flowers make a great gift for mom, but they’re also a tasty treat for Bactrian camels, red-footed tortoises and prehensile-tailed skinks.

Keeper Mike Skidmore offers a tomato chunk to a red-footed tortoise at Regenstein Small Mammal–Reptile House.

Keeper Close-Ups
To wrap up National Zookeeper Week, we wanted to share some favorite photos we’ve taken of Lincoln Park Zoo’s wonderful keepers over the years.


Lincoln Park Zoo Exhibit