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RE: Is this an African Desert Tortoise?

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Posted by: tglazie at Sun Jul 4 04:14:25 2010  [ Report Abuse ] [ Email Message ] [ Show All Posts by tglazie ]  
   

I'm sorry to reply so late to this thread gentlemen, but I'm afraid you are all mistaken. This is not an African Desert Tortoise, as the people at the pet store told you, nor is it an African Spurred Tortoise as the gentlemen on this forum have said. It is in fact an American Desert Tortoise, latin name Gopherus agasazzi, also known as the California Desert Tortoise. Bad news, friend. This tortoise is endangered. A person requires a permit to own one. If you live in Nevada, it is most likely a resident of your state, a key species in the Nevada desert ecosystem. It was also not likely anyone's pet unless they pulled it from the wild, because the smooth, perfect growth this animal exhibits tends only to occur in the wild, where a low protein, high fiber, seasonally varied diet is provided by the harsh desert environment. This species spends much of it's time in burrows, arising during the morning and evening to graze on dry grasses and succulent cacti. Various snakes, rodents, and amphibians utilize their burrows, making them an indispensable keystone species in the Nevada desert.

I posted a photo for your visual verification. It is the following: http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://www.livingwilderness.com/wildlife/desert-tortoise.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.livingwilderness.com/wildlife/desert-tortoise.html&usg=__MPRRIaTODk5NqyGB2JemRsQ2bzE=&h=333&w=500&sz=47&hl=en&start=15&um=1&itbs=1&tbnid=3o420T-bKov8TM:&tbnh=87&tbnw=130&prev=/images?q=gopherus agassizii&um=1&hl=en&sa=X&tbs=isch:1

Note the nature of the front leg scaling. The scales are much less robust than those of a sulcata or African Spurred Tortoise. The shell profiles of the two pictured animals are also very similar.

What I'd advise you do is seek out the adoption tab on this site and contact an adoption center in your area. I know of one organization in Nevada that places tortoises up for adoption. Who knows? You might qualify to adopt this animal you've found. But you must pursue a legal means by which to keep this tortoise, for possession of an animal without a permit is punishable by way of a fine.

T.G.


   

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