Adopt a captive desert tortoise as your new best friend

More than 100 captive desert tortoises need forever homes in Arizona

Adopt a captive desert tortoise as your new best friend
Desert tortoise eating prickly pear (Source: National Park Service)

TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - When people think about adopting pets, the first to usually come to mind are cats and dogs. But how would you feel about adopting a desert tortoise as your new best friend?

Well, say no more! The Arizona Game and Fish Department is searching for forever homes for more than 100 captive desert tortoises.

According to AZGFD, due primarily to illegal breeding, the department has more than 100 tortoises of variouses ages and sizes available for adoption.

Captive tortoises can grow up to about 14 inches long, can live for more than 100 years, and cannot be released back into the wild. So you may have to will your new best friend to a relative.

Arizona residents interested should review the Tortoise Adoption Program page on the department’s website. The department will hold a free virtual tortoise adoption information session via Zoom at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 10, for anyone interested in adopting.

Adopters must have a securely enclosed yard and construct a separate enclosure/burrow to protect the tortoise from potential hazards, such as a fire pit, unfenced pool or dogs. The enclosed area must include an appropriate shelter for the tortoise to escape Arizona’s extreme summer heat and a place to brumate during the winter.

For more information on the Tortoise Adoption Program, just follow [this link].

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