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Arizona Game & Fish is looking to adopt out dozens of desert tortoises

Tortoise adoptions Arizona Game and Fish
Posted at 12:12 PM, May 24, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-24 17:58:58-04

PHOENIX — Are you looking for a pet to add to the family? How about a tortoise?

If that sounds like a shell-of-a-good-time to you (you're welcome), keep reading.

The Arizona Game and Fish Department is in need of adopters for more than a dozen captive desert tortoises.

“Tortoises are amazingly resilient animals,” said Tegan Wolf, Tortoise Adoption Program coordinator, in a statement. “While the Arizona Game and Fish Department strives to keep wildlife wild, captive desert tortoises cannot be released into the wild because they may spread diseases to wild populations. Because of this, we place dozens of adoptable tortoises into homes to live out their lives as lovable loyal companions.”

The adoptable tortoises vary in age and size, the department said.

One such tortoise looking for its forever home is "Charlie." The 20-something-year-old tortoise was hit by a car, and survived. His shell was damaged, but has since healed, Game and Fish said. Hook, another tortoise, was attacked by a dog and had to have his front left leg amputated. He is also looking for his forever home.

Is a tortoise the right companion for you?

Game and Fish cautions that tortoises are long-term pets. A healthy one can live between 80 and 100 years. They even recommend including the tortoise in a person's will in case it outlives its owner(s).

You can read the department's tortoise adoption guide for more information.

How to apply?

Those interested need to fill out a one-page application. It asks for basic contact info, whether you currently own a tortoise, as well as a description of your yard. Someone with the department will then be in touch once the application is reviewed and approved.