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Desert tortoise workshop Saturday

A Las Vegas-based group that deals with tortoise adoption is coming to Pahrump to educate citizens on the process.

Tortoise Group, a Las Vegas non-profit organization who has been educating and advocating for the protection and well-being of the desert tortoise for over 30 years, said Pahrump residents have been reaching out to them about adopting the animal that is native to the area.

On Saturday, Aug. 8, a workshop is being held in town to explain how to adopt a tortoise, methods for creating a burrow, information about the biology of the tortoise, and details on how to care for the animal.

“Hopefully, many loving folks will want to share their lives with homeless tortoises,” Tortoise Group Chairman, Kathy Utiger, said. “They make great pets. There is plenty of time to create a habitat and adopt before the tortoises go into brumation (hibernation) in late October.”

The event takes place from 11 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. at the Pahrump Community Library, located at 701 East Street. The fact-filled workshop will be led by adoption coordinator, Janina Little, and Utiger.

“I talked to several tortoises who are hoping to relocate to friendly Pahrump,” Utiger said. “These tortoises currently reside at Tortoise Group’s temporary holding facility. Like every homeless tortoise, they seek safe, loving homes with cozy burrows.”

The Mojave desert tortoise, Gopherus agassizii, was listed under the Endangered Species Act in 1989. The tortoise is also protected under Nevada Administrative Code (NAC 503 080).

Nevada’s desert tortoise is a threatened species that’s seen its population decrease in the area.

“Biologists estimate that only about 100,000 tortoises remain in the Mojave and Sonoran deserts,” Utiger said.

According to the Tortoise Group, it is illegal to touch, disturb, harass, harm, poach, or bother a tortoise in any way. They caution, if you see a wild tortoise, leave it alone.

For more information on desert tortoise adoption or the Aug. 8 event, call 702-374-3947 or email janinalittle@tortoisegroup.org.

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