PHOENIX - Wildlife authorities say large numbers of tortoises at Valley shelter need homes.
“It’s not like the movies, they're not going to jump up and learn a bunch of karate moves or anything like that,” laughs Phoenix Herpetological Society curator Daniel Marchand.
OK, now that we know these guys won't eventually become Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (yeah, I’m a little disappointed too), we can tell you what we do know about them: there are about 85 desert tortoises at PHS, and they all need homes.
“It’s a unique opportunity for folks in Arizona to have actual wildlife as a pet in their backyard,” says Cristina Jones.
Jones, the Turtles Project Coordinator for the Arizona Game and Fish Department , says one of the reasons so many desert tortoises are being surrendered is the economy.
"If someone is downsizing to an apartment, they might turn in their tortoises because they need to have a large outdoor enclosure. A couple of years ago that was the main reason for people turning in their tortoises,” Jones said.
That’s why Game and Fish is working with the Phoenix Herpetological Society to help the tortoises find homes.
“These guys are very low maintenance, as you can see. They’re used to people’s voices, they'll come out and interact with you,” Marchand said. “What’s nice is they're not aggressive, they won't bite.”
Be aware that if you decide to take a tortoise home, it just might outlive you.
“They do live up to a hundred years. There’s one in Tucson that's 102 years old. It’s been in the family since it was a hatchling,” Jones said.
For more information about adopting a desert tortoise you can go to the Arizona Game and Fish website .
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