Desert Tortoise Adoption – We Got Our Tortoise!

A lot of work goes into preparing the tortoises for adoption!

We have had our habitatready for a while – I wanted the native plants to get a head start on the tortoise. Finally a few weeks ago I sent in all our paperwork (Ever buy a house? The processes seem similar…) and last week we heard that we were approved for a tortoise. Adoption day was Saturday morning! We arrived at the Phoenix Herpetological Society facility in north Scottsdale and saw this going on. Each tortoise was being measured, weighed, and implanted with a microchip.

We then attended a short class which (once again…) covered all the laws covering the stewardship of a tortoise. There were also a lot of tips given to help us keep our tortoises happy and healthy. Afterward, there was more paperwork (!) and we lined up to choose our tortoises.

Lets see... which one?

Groups were allowed to choose in the order in which they signed in on the registration. We were 5th of 6 parties. There were 7 tortoises that had been prepared for adoption so everyone had some choice. When our turn finally came, we were faced with choosing either a young tortoise (half-grown?) or two adult ones. One of the adults had an area on the shell that did not look good, so we planned to choose between the other two. We found out that the last people to pick really wanted a younger tortoise, so we took the old one. All the tortoises up for adoption on this day were males, although this is not always the case.

Obediah in his pen!

We put our tortoise in the habitat and he promptly went about eating grass! He also got a piece of watermelon rind for desert. It took a couple days, but we settled on the name “Obediah” for him, as he looks like an old-time prospector or miner (Obediah in the Bible was one of the “minor prophets”).

I will try to get some nice pictures of him for the blog after the markers wear off his shell. It has turned really hot lately and so he has been spending all day in his den, only coming out in the very early morning for some grass.