Tortoise checkups; more than 100 going up for adoption

A valley veterinarian is giving checkups to more than 100 desert tortoises, it's a pretty huge task.

It's all in preparation of the Arizona Game and Fish Department's massive tortoise adoption where dozens of tortoises need new homes.

"We check ears, eyes, nose, mouth, their legs, it's just like other examinations we do on a dog or cat, it's just a little different," said Dr. Jay Johnson with the Arizona Exotic Animal Hospital.

The owner of the hospital is examining every reptiles face, shell, and skin. Each tortoise is teetering on the scale when it gets weighed in.

"They want to make sure they're all healthy before they sent them out to new homes," he said.

Dozens of the tortoises got checkups at the Adobe Mountain Wildlife Center, once they get a clean bill of health they'll go up for adoption in two weeks.

"We have about 100 right now that are in need of good homes," said Tegan Wolf with AZ Game and Fish.

This adoption program starts in April. Anyone interested in adopting them has to consider how long these reptiles live, they can be lifelong pets.

"Awesome pets, they're really low maintenance, just feed them, give them some love, and care. They do have a personality and they will come to you," she said.

Some of the reptiles can be as tiny as a silver dollar, the bigger ones get an extra exam for any possible bladder stones.

"I love watching them eat, it's hilarious," said Wolf.

The agency requires you provide photos showing them you have a safe enclosure. If you've got a safe space for the tortoise, the adoption is free.

The tortoises go up for adoption starting in April. If you want to look up the adoption application materials visit: www.azgfd.gov/w_c/captive_tortoise_care.shtml
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