About the Author

Jess Shillaw


Jess was born in Kwazulu/Natal but grew up in Cape Town. Having an innate love for all things wild but getting to spend little time in the bush while growing up, she headed straight for the Lowveld after school. She completed a guiding ...

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on A Leopard Tortoise Lays Her Eggs Right Next to Us

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Sandra Scott
Senior Digital Ranger

How amazing that is to have witness that.

Chelsea Allard
Master Tracker

Such a special and unique sighting! I have seen painted turtles in the US laying eggs and it was an unexpected experience like yours. The sex determination by temperature for many reptiles is concerning given rising global temperatures.

Christa Blessing
Master Tracker

Thanks Jess for this really fascinating blog on Tortoises and their breeding habits.
I had not known that it takes so many months for the eggs to become tiny tortoises. Very interesting.

Denise Vouri
Guest contributor

How exciting Jess, to be looking up at one scene playing out, but then have a guest discover the leopard tortoise next to your vehicle, also engaged in an unusual activity. The gestation period for these tortoise eggs seems like a long time compared to other animals but it will be exciting to view the little hatchlings if your timing is good. I had spotted quail eggs hidden under a plant and checked in daily as I was hoping to see the chicks, but unfortunately, they hatched and immediately disappeared, leaving only the empty shells as evidence. With tortoises, you will most likely have better luck!

Francesca Doria
Master Tracker

Hi Jess, what a nice break today with this tortoise female! The black-and-white picture is amazing! So there will hopefully be many tiny females to say hello to the world. Lovely

Valmai Vorster
Master Tracker

Jess that is so fantastic to witness the female laying her eggs. That is so rare and you were at the right place at the right time forsure. I personally love a tortoise and can watch them for ages. How can you tell the female and male tortoises apart once they have hatched. Wow it is nearly a whole year for incubation depending on the climate.

William Paynter
Master Tracker

Jess, nice blog on the tortoises, fascinating animals. Hope this clutch of eggs is a successful hatch.

Paul Canales
Master Tracker

Very fortunate sighting indeed Jill! I’ll stay tuned here to see the hatchlings in the future!

Ian Hall
Master Tracker

One leopard sighting I really would have liked to have seen, it is not often I am envious of a sighting….

but for that I would make an exception

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10 April, 2798
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