Burmese Brown Mountain Tortoises (Manouria emys emys) are a forest tortoise from Asia. They are somewhat shy and inactive as babies, but make a very personable pet once they feel comfortable in their surroundings. They have a dark color to them, typically a deep brown or black color as adults. Babies can be anything from a silvery grey to black to brown. The edges of the shell have a very interesting, jagged edge. There is also a second slightly larger subspecies, the black mountain tortoise.
Native to South Asia, it is kept and produced most commonly in the higher humidity areas of the US including Texas and Florida, as well as the Northwest parts of the country. This tortoise loves rain and water, and is considered to be the most ancient type of tortoise alive today.
We keep our baby mountain tortoises outdoors when possible if the nighttime lows are above 60, and the daytime highs are below 90. We “rain” on them constantly to maintain the highest levels of humidity. They need access to shaded areas, as well as something safe to graze on while outdoors. Indoors, we keep them in large plastic containers on a sphagnum moss or crushed coconut substrate with plenty of hiding areas. We soak them 3 times a week in ¼” of warm water for 30 minutes to allow them to get well hydrated, and we mist them heavily once or twice a day before feeding. They are fed a diet that consists of leafy greens, veggies, fruits and Mazuri tortoise food. It’s not really a grass eater. As babies, they need softer foods they can tear apart, or foods chopped small enough to swallow whole. They are also one of a few tortoise species that will eat earthworms or other small insects as a way to provide protein in its diet. Standing water is needed, and should be cleaned regularly as they like to soak (and defecate) in it. The substrate should be kept moist at all times to maintain high humidity levels.
Natural sunlight is best for tortoises of all ages, but if the tortoise is kept indoors, it needs to be supplied with a source of UV-B from its lighting. It should also have as a spot bulb that will allow the tortoise access to an area where it can reach a high temperature between 85 and 90 degrees if desired.
The adults of this species can achieve some large sizes, up to 24” long, with the black mountain tortoises being the largest. We recommend that you have access to a good sized yard where it can be maintained most or all of the year. In colder climates, you will need to have indoor accommodations since this is not a hibernating species. This tortoise appreciates high humidity and moderate to warm temperatures, and would probably not be the best choice for the coldest parts of the country unless it can be maintained indoors when temperatures get low. It will thrive outdoors in the warmer states if plenty of cooler retreats are provided, and a high level of humidity can be maintained. Adults of this species can handle lower and higher temperature extremes than babies.
Our Burmese Mountain Tortoises are priced at $225.