I first had the oppurtunity to purchase some captive bred adult leopard tortoise about 1995 from a newly opened pet shop in my local town.These had to be paid for pre delivery to the Island .I asked plenty of questions to assure myself these had been captive bred and not taken from the wild.I even spoke to the breeder on the pet shops phone being reassured this was so and told by the man that he could see his original adults through his window mating as we spoke.i was assured by the pet shop my cheque wouldnt be cashed until i had returned the following day confirming the order.My plan being to contact the Tortoise Trust and ask their opinion.Andy Highfield at the time told me he knew of no uk breeders at that time who had been successful enough to be likely to sell their hatchlings to strangers or indeed through a pet shop.Armed with this information i returned to the shop and cancelled my order retrieving my cheque in the process.I returned home a little disappointed but relieved that i hadnt been tricked into purchasing wild caught or farmed animals.About a year later i was informed by a friend that a genuine breeder of Geochelone Pardalis Babcocki had been particularly successful that year and had decided to offer some hatchlings for sale,but only to experienced tortoise keepers who understood what they were buying.This breeder was Ashley woods who had ccontributed to some papers at the Tortoise Trust on Leopard Tortoises.My intention was to raise these animals to adults and breed from them in the future.Ashley kindly sold me 3 we hoped females from hatch dates  and 2 males from a seperate clutch i believe from his second female.Regardless i installed these tiny little creatures in open topped pens that i had been experimenting with for my med hatchlings.I tried to keep them as i would med hatchlings and after a short time they started to fail ,becoming inactive and not eating.i phoned everyone i knew and consulted my vet all to no avail.I studied their home range spending some time in the library.Then i lost one of them and 2 others were very sick. i hastily built a vivarium in white melamine with a Trulite uvb tube and background heater and basking bulb.I increased the background temperature to 20c plus and bathed them daily to keep them hydrated.I started to see some activity and increased appetite.Over the next couple of years they continued to thrive and finally 2 of them were big enough i thought to live outdoors in the greenhouse.I had just purchased a 10 foot green house and mounted it end to end with an 8 foot shed which i insulated with an access hatch to one end of the greenhouse and access to a seperate part of the garden.by the time all this was up and running i then decided to move all the leopards outdoors 24/7.By 2002 they were spending all year outdoors and growing like weeds when i was asked to take on some rescues by our local sanctuary.Initially i said no but went to take a look anyway.I eventually i left there with a pair of adults and a young female about 10" who i thought would mature about the same time as my own three boys .my female being a little larger than the boys and more than capable of rejecting their advances.my intention still being to breed these tortoises.That summer i was amazed to see the adult female who was severely under weight digging a nest and laying a clutch of eggs.i read up and decided to incubate these just a little differently to my med eggs.Needless to say i was amazed when they hatched.I saw no mating actvivty from the old rescue male ever and the adult female never attempted to lay again.Not until the last few years when Gol became confident enough to attempt mating her.In 2007 i noticed my oldest CB leopard male Gol  was starting to mate my CB femlale Flash and in 2008 we had our first hatchlings.i was over the moon and the following year i hatched a few more .he was now mating with all 3 females and now 2010 i am see multiple nestings from each of them per year .Although i have had to make the difficult but i think sensible decision not to incubate any more eggs until my current hatchlings are past the delicate stage and i feel happy to offer them for sale.Depending on the response i may reconsider incubating in the future but to be honest i doubt it.i really am particular who has my hatchlings and dont want to be at the point when i am desperate enough to rehome to anyone.

                                                                                     TERRY  (terrypin)