Girard – Desert Tortoise (Gopherus agassizii)

Girard - Desert Tortoise (Gopherus agassizii)

Girard- Desert Tortoise (Gopherus agassizii)

Girard is a male Agassiz’s (Mojave) Desert Tortoise that Oregon Fish and Wildlife brought to us in 2022. This gorgeous tortoise was found in the footprint of a regional wildfire and had been in their care. We do not have Desert Tortoises in Oregon so this guy had been someone’s pet. He is at least 50 years old and likely spent most of the time in the wild based on the fabulous quality of his shell. Unfortunately, this adorable little guy couldn’t talk so we had to do a lot of educated guessing. Girard couldn’t be released back to the wild in a state where these animals are native. Desert Tortoises are VERY territorial and will attack “foreign” interlopers into their territory. Also, most turtles have internal GPS so if removed from home territory they will spend the rest of their days roaming aimlessly, trying to get back to it. We have no idea where home is. So now, Girard spends his days being well-cared for and educating the public as part of our education team.