PHOENIX — A brutal round with a dog resulted in an amputated leg, but Tripod the three-legged desert tortoise is ready for a new home.
The surgery was conducted at the Arizona Exotic Animal Hospital and since then, Tripod – as he is affectionately known – has recovered at the Arizona Game and Fish Department Wildlife Center, where he and 50 other desert tortoises are in desperate need of a forever home.
“When this tortoise was brought into the veterinary clinic, the damage was so severe that it’s left front leg needed to be immediately amputated,” said Tegan Wolf, AZGFD Tortoise Adoption Program coordinator. “Tripod has since recovered nicely and gets around perfectly fine on three legs.”
While Tripod is between 30 and 50 years old, dozens of other desert tortoises eligible for adoption vary in age and size. Arizona residents interested in providing an adoptive home to a desert tortoise can find an adoption application and packet with general information at www.azgfd.gov/tortoise.
Those applying to adopt a tortoise will be contacted by the department once their application is approved.
Adopters need to have a securely enclosed yard or separate enclosure in their yard, free from potential hazards such as a dog, fire pit or unfenced pool. The enclosed area must include an appropriate shelter for the tortoise to escape Arizona’s extreme summer and winter temperatures.
All of the desert tortoises eligible for adoption are given health exams before going to their new homes.
Desert tortoises offer a unique alternative to more traditional family pets and can teach many of the same life lessons to children, including responsibility, compassion and commitment. Contrary to many assumptions, desert tortoises can be interactive and provide companionship without as many demands as a cat or dog.