Meet Tripod, the three legged tortoise looking for a forever home! 

(via Northern Arizona Gazette)

Tripod had a rough go around with a dog leaving him with severe injuries. Thanks to the vets at the Arizona Exotic Animal Hospital, a lengthy surgery to amputate a front leg, and lots of rehabilitation, he’s recovered and ready for adoption!

Tripod’s story has a happy ending but that’s not always the case when it comes to encounters between tortoises and dogs. Many don’t realize that tortoise shells have a similar scent to raw hide and that makes them seem like prime chomping material.

“When this tortoise was brought into the veterinary clinic, the damage was so severe that it’s left front leg needed to be immediately amputated,” said Tegan Wolf, AZGFD Tortoise Adoption Program coordinator. “Tripod has since recovered nicely and gets around perfectly fine on three legs.”

As you can see, Tripod is back to dominating all the land he stomps on. He and many other desert tortoises, of varying ages, are in need of forever homes as part of Arizona’s desert tortoise conservation efforts. These tortoises are unable to be released into the wild but have long lives to lives to live.

Adopters need to have a securely enclosed yard or separate enclosure in their yard, free from potential hazards such as a dog, fire pit or unfenced pool. The enclosed area must include an appropriate shelter for the tortoise to escape Arizona’s extreme summer and winter temperatures.

If you live in the Arizona area and have the ability to commit to ~40 years of love and care, Tripod or one of his desert tortoise friends might be waiting for you! Check out more at the Arizona Game and Fish Department here:


Watch a Desert Tortoise Hatchling Release in the Red Cliffs Desert Reserve

This hatchling, like many Mojave desert tortoise hatchlings, lost its way among residential areas in Washington County- especially during monsoon seasons. BLM biologists continue to complete clearance surveys to ensure hatchlings found in these developmental areas can be relocated to Red Cliffs Desert Reserve, a tortoise habitat protection area. Successful transitions of hatchlings to sites such as Red Cliffs Desert Reserve are all in the result of teamwork from the community and a variety of agencies that continue to support the wellbeing of the tortoise population. Watch this little guy take his first steps back in his BLM-managed habitat!

Learn more about Fish and Wildlife in the BLM here!


(Via KVOA Tucson

A kind human was off-roading in the desert when he noticed something unusual down an old abandoned mine shaft, an endangered desert tortoise! The shaft was aprox. 20 ft deep and 30 ft wide with walls too steep for him to reach the tortoise safely, so he contacted the Arizona Game and Fish Department (AZGFD) with GPS coordinates and directions to the mine.

Given how deep the mine was, the AZGFD’s wildlife management waited till morning and headed out to rescue the tortoise. Using an extension ladder, repelling ropes, and determination, they were able to reach this little guy and carry him out of the mine!

He was incredibly dehydrated and emaciated and unfortunately unfit to be released into the wild on the spot. His rescuers gave him a good soak and brought him back to be cared for through the winter months. Rumor has it he’s gaining weight like a champ, getting all the spoils he deserves after that scary trip down the mine.

(Via Arizona Game and Fish Department Facebook)  

The tortoise was extremely dehydrated and very emaciated, he had been in there for quite a while. We immediately soaked him in the field, but after looking at him closely, we found he was extremely light, had scarring on his legs, a swollen joint on his back leg, and had worn down his front toenails to nothing. We made the determination if we released him he probably would not make it through the winter. It was already late fall, he was in very poor shape, and he would never be able to gain sustenance so late in the fall. With his front toenails completely gone, he probably would not be able to even dig a burrow in time to get out of the winter weather season; so we are rehabilitating him through the winter. He is recuperating nicely, to date he has gained almost a pound in weight and is eating regularly.

Incredible work by this good samaritan and the Arizona Game and Fish Department. Thanks to them we lost one less desert tortoise this past year. 

Red Cliffs NCA by Bob WickDesert tortoise hatchling, courtesy of BLMMojave Desert Tortoise (California), photo by Dana Wilson, BLM.Mojave Desert Tortoise (California), photo by Dana Wilson, BLM.Red Cliffs NCA by Bob Wick


Wildlife biologist’s work with desert tortoise- an exciting adventure!
By Rachel Tueller Carnahan 

Wildlife Biologist Ann McLuckie’s interest in wildlife biology started at an early age. “I was always interested in animals,” she said.  As an elementary student she was president of the Ranger Rick Club where she recruited the support of friends and classmates.  McLuckie later graduated with a biology degree and worked in several wildlife positions before volunteering to work with tortoises in St. George Utah. “I did other jobs with other species but I always came back to tortoises,” she said. “I loved it.”

After 20 years of service as a wildlife biologist with the Division of Wildlife Resources, her favorite assignment continues to be working in the field helping tortoises. 

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@his-ladyship-thefangirl replied to your photo: “wheremyscalesslither: INCOMING!!! RAWWWWWWR”:

what kind of tortoise is this

That’s a desert tortoise, like Mojave max 🙂 Native to the Mojave and Sonoran deserts in the south-west of the US. They are a threatened species, unfortunately. Recently, because of the closure of the largest facility housing injured/rehabbed tortoises, homes were sought for the displaced animals that lived there. They were adoptable only to residents of the area (you can’t take threatened species across state lines). They have to be kept sepereate from wild populations so they don’t bring in any diseases, take resources, fromt he natural population thats already deminishing. Also? They are beautiful tortoises hee