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Reptile News & Stories | PetsWeekly

Legally Adopting Desert Tortoises

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While desert tortoise numbers appear to be declining in the wild, the number of tortoises being held in captivity is increasing at an alarming rate. The Arizona Game and Fish Department, through its Tortoise Adoption Program, has been working for 30 years to educate the public about desert tortoises. Two of the elements of the program that are considered essential to avoiding overpopulation of captive desert tortoises are:

Remember:
~Never remove a tortoise from the wild – it’s illegal

~Never allow captive tortoises to breed

Read more: Legally Adopting Desert Tortoises

The Legend of St. Patrick

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There are many legends surrounding the life of St. Patrick. Of course, the one that we're most interested in is his reputed "mass exodus" of snakes from Ireland. Here's the short version:

It is believed that in 441 A.D., St. Patrick fasted and prayed for 40 days at the summit of Croagh Patrick ("the Reek") in County Mayo. During this time, as blackbirds assaulted him, St. Patrick continued to pray and ring a bell as a proclamation of his faith. It was while he was atop the mountain that St. Patrick drove all the snakes in Ireland to the sea, effectively saving Ireland from some kind of snake revolution.

In answer to his prayers, an angel appeared to tell him that the Irish people would retain their Christian faith for all time.

Historians generally agree that this myth serves as a metaphor for the good works of St. Patrick.

Since snakes are a common pagan symbol — and seeing as how they are not found in Ireland — the tale really symbolizes St. Patrick driving paganism out of Ireland.

We're proud to talk about paganism, though. So if you need a little extra luck - and really, who couldn't use a little extra luck? Here are a few things you can do today:

Read more: The Legend of St. Patrick

Helping desert tortoises during monsoon season

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desert-tortoiseMonsoon season brings one of the southwest desert’s most iconic creatures out of their burrows and out-and-about across the state. Desert tortoises are now in their most active season, and Arizona’s increased human population creates more risks for these slow-moving symbols of the Sonoran desert.  The Arizona Game and Fish Department asks the public to follow these important guidelines if they encounter a desert tortoise:

Do not remove a tortoise from its habitat.

Taking a wild tortoise home is illegal in Arizona. Additionally, most tortoises stay in the same small area their entire lives, so if you move a tortoise to a new location it will not know where to find food and shelter and will likely die.

Do not release a captive tortoise into the wild.

Captive desert tortoises cannot be released into the wild as they can pass diseases to wild populations and displace wild tortoises. It is also illegal to release captive animals into the wild.

Read more: Helping desert tortoises during monsoon season

Tortoise Chases Dog

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Okay, how much fun is this video? Augustine, our turtle, would be so proud!

 

Reptile Quotes

  • "I have dogs, and it's no secret that I find reptiles interesting, but the thing about reptiles is that they really just wanna be left alone, and I understand them. It's, 'Don't pick me up, stop holding me, don't look
    Nicholas Cage
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Reptile Facts

  • There are about 250 species of turtles, 25 species of crocodilians, 5,500 species of snakes, 3,000 species of lizards, 130 species of amphibians, and 2 species of rhynchocephalians.
    Henry David Thoreau
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