|Desert Tortoise Toes|
|A face only a Mother could LOVE!|
|The Tail End!|
|A tortoise might nibble at PINK toes because they look like rose petals!|
|My Turtle has Skills!|
Here in the desert of Las Vegas we have the unique opportunity to have a protected and threatened species as a pet. The desert tortoise is an amazing animal and , at least I think, the PERFECT pet to have. They don’t make noise, they eat your weeds, they don’t make a mess, they take care of themselves and for half of the year they are in hibernation so you don’t have to worry about them at all. But probably best of all I am not allergic to them! I don’t know of a better pet than that. They are sweet.
I had a turtle as a pet growing up and I highly recommend it. My turtles came from a family member who’s turtle had babies so I did not have to register them. We currently have four of them. Their names are “Killer”, “Princess”, “Bob”, and “Baby”. You can guess at what age my children were when they named them and who’s turtle is who, I’m sure! Some fun turtle names we’ve had in my family over the years have been Tortellini, Yertle, Myrtle, Speedy.
If you would like a turtle as a pet, the Tortoise Group has procedures for adopting them. Check out the Tortoise Group for more detailed information on the how-to’s for tortoise care and the laws governing this protected animal here in Nevada. They also have a small Tortoise Group info page on Facebook.
Here are a few things to know~
1. Know what plants are both good and bad for your tortoise to eat.
2. Have a safe and fenced in area/yard with plenty of grass or plants and room for them.
3. Read the guidelines and build them a burrow for hibernating in Winter and for sleeping in Summer.
4. I have a sprinkler drip that goes into a large terra cotta dish that is sunk into the ground for a water dish.
5. Although they love the heat they do need shaded areas to cool off.
6. If a desert tortoise is raised alone they will be territorial and not want to be put in with others later.
7. Mine are very smart and come running over when they hear my voice, seriously!
8. They are great for recycling watermelon rinds and strawberry tops, etc.
9. If they are very tiny the first year you can cover a smaller habitat with chicken wire to protect from birds and animals.
10. They make a great pet for show-n-tell at school because many children have not seen one in person.
11. I’ve NEVER had a problem but, like any animal, wash your hands after handling to prevent germs.
12. If you live in Nevada you could be doing something great by helping to save a Desert Tortoise!