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Arizona Game and Fish holding desert tortoise adoptions

Posted at 4:17 PM, Oct 15, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-15 19:17:07-04

PHOENIX — The Arizona Game and Fish Department is looking for people to adopt Sonoran desert tortoises.

They have dozens of tortoises that are in need of homes.

Many of these tortoises were surrendered by previous owners. Unfortunately, many people adopt these animals not knowing this can be a life-long commitment. A healthy tortoise can live for 80-100 years.

Once in captivity, the Sonoran desert tortoise cannot be re-released into the wild because they can transmit diseases.

It is illegal to have a desert tortoise outside of Arizona, and because of this they are exclusively available for adoption by Arizona residents.

“Many people don’t even consider opening up their homes to desert tortoises, but they make fantastic and personable pets.”

“It’s rewarding to hear stories from those who have adopted a captive tortoise and made them part of the family because they’re a unique alternative to traditional family pets. They offer many of the same life lessons to children and can provide just as much companionship and personality as a dog or cat.”

If you’re interested in adoption you will be required to build a shelter for the tortoise and submit a photo. The Arizona Game and Fish Desert Tortoise Adoption Program created a video to show you how to build one.

After building a shelter, those interested should fill out an application, and email it along with pictures of the habitat to Applications can also be mailed to West Carefree Highway, Phoenix, Ariz. 85086.

For more information on the Sonoran desert tortoise and ways you can help, visit