Two Saxophone Players from UCLA

Pet Adoption: Cute, Slow, and Listed Under the Endangered Species Act

For the last 25 years, desert tortoises have been listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. Urbanization, disease, and fragmentation of the desert have helped put these reptiles into danger, sparking concern among conservationists and preservationists. And these days, you're more likely to find a desert tortoise living in a suburban backyard than the desert, their natural habitat.

Don Williams has been studying and caring for tortoises for 15 years as part of the California Turtle & Tortoise Club, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the continued education and conservation of desert tortoises.

In just three years, Williams has rescued 591 adult desert tortoises and 180 baby tortoises. The combination of long life spans and uncontrolled breeding has led to an overpopulation of desert tortoises in captivity. Releasing captive tortoises back into the wild is not only dangerous to the indigenous population, it's illegal.

However, through the California Turtle & Tortoise Club, people can adopt desert tortoises after going through an extensive backyard screening process to ensure a safe environment for these reptilian creatures.

In this segment of "SoCal Connected," reporter Nick Hardcastle chats with the California Turtle & Tortoise Club about the process involved with tortoise adoption, and visits the home of a SoCal family that has recently adopted Rocky, a 25-year-old desert tortoise.

Featuring Interviews With:

  • Don Williams, tortoise expert
  • Abigail Desesa, California Turtle & Tortoise Club
  • White Simon, desert tortoise owner

 

 

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