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A different sort of pet, Cha Cha the tortoise strolls Seattle's South Lake Union

Alan Berner, The Seattle Times on

Published in Cats & Dogs News

"Very few people have interacted intimately with a tortoise," says Jim Ferron.

By that, he means having one as a long-term pet.

His tortoise is Cha Cha.

Like turtles, they are reptiles from the order Testudines. But tortoises are land-based while turtles live in or around water.

Cha Cha is a 13-year-old leopard tortoise -- a strict vegetarian.

Ferron will alternatively refer to his pet as either "he" or "she."


He doesn't know his pet's sex.

But he does know what it likes.

"He-she approaches family and friends for attention much like a cat by walking up and rubbing against a leg."

Cha Cha loves greens of all sorts, "especially Southern greens, with an occasional toe nibble. Strawberries are the favorite treat."


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