(Via Tuscon News Now  )

Its the most active season for Desert tortoises in the south west. This includes the Mojave Desert tortoise and the Sonoma Tortoise, both protected by Arizona Fish and Game. 

Tucson Today shared some important Do’s and Don’ts released by the Arizona Game and Fish Department. Read them, Share them, Be an Educated Tortoise Lover. 

Should you encounter a tortoise :

  • Do not remove a tortoise from its habitat. Taking a wild tortoise home is illegal in Arizona. Additionally, most tortoises stay in the same small area their entire lives, so if a tortoise is moved to a new location it will not know where to find food and shelter and will likely die.
  • Do not release a captive tortoise into the wild. Captive desert tortoises cannot be released into the wild as they can pass diseases to wild populations and displace wild tortoises. It is also illegal to release captive animals into the wild.
  • Keep dogs away from both captive and wild desert tortoises. Even the most gentle dog can pose a serious threat to a tortoise.
  • If you come across a desert tortoise crossing a busy road, if traffic safely permits it, pick the tortoise up and gently move it to the other side of the road. Carry the animal so that it is level to the ground, and move it in the same direction it was headed.
  • If a person encounters a desert tortoise, Game and Fish biologists want to know. Please email the details, and a photo if possible to take one without handling the tortoise, to turtlesproject@azgfd.gov.

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