Possibly a pet on hotel garden
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do tortoises wallow in mud?
I was just wondering since its shell has a muddy look about it with wet patches indicating that it has done so recently.
Possibly a sprinkler in the garden?
It is that sort of muddy sheen it has that made me think it had been wallowing in mud. The sprinkler would have washed it off again.
Owning a tortoise (Testudo graeco) I can vouch for the fact that they are very rarely clean unless they have been in the rain or as you say under a sprinkler, mine does a lot of digging which I am told is all about temperature control. They are amazing creatures well worth a study - one amazing fact is their climbing ability they need at least a 10 - 12 inch wall or fence to stop them.
I am aware that in habitat where there is little shade they burrow to keep out of the midday sun and to escape from bush fires but wondered if they might also wallow if wet areas are available too.
I think you have the right species. It could be a wild one too if the hotel wasn't in too much of an urban location. The scientific name is Chelonoidis denticulata.
A fairly peaceful garden, but in the middle of a very busy town.
I take it your generic name supercedes Geochelone.
Yes, Chelonoidis has superseded Geochelone for some new world species.
It could well be a pet, but you never know. It's within the natural range of the species. Athens has many wild tortoises, I'm not sure whether they are truly wild or feral, but they breed and they are the species which should occur naturally within the area.
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