Thinking of adopting a Tortoise?
Desert Tortoises (Gopherus agassizii) are curious and personable outdoor animals that offer a unique alternative to traditional family pets. If you’ve ever thought about adopting one of these cool creatures, here are 6 things you should know about the species before you adopt:
- Desert Tortoises are outdoor animals that enjoy helping in the yard, digging, eating, being with humans and their well-trained pets, and even coming inside for short visits, if they’re allowed (just remember, they must live outdoors).
- These magnificent animals can live 80-100 years. That’s a long time!
- Desert Tortoises must live outside in safe habitats with burrows. Your yard should have an area a minimum of 600 square feet in size with a big dry area for a burrow. The burrow should be in an area away from sprinklers, drainage areas, sidewalk runoffs and block walls.
- Don’t see your Desert Tortoise? These guys spend 95% of their time inside a burrow, cooling off during the summer and keeping warm in the winter.
- Desert Tortoises are vegetarians and should only eat nutrient-dense diet and plants (seehttp://www.tortoise.org/general/edibplan.html for a list of edible, Tortoise-friendly plants). No pesticides should be used in the Tortoise habitat.
- Water should be available in the habitat at all times, and the water dish should be kept in the same place so your tortoise knows where to find it.