Little Buddy (2016)

This handsome tortoise can be found feeding on blossoms from the Desert Willow Tree that is in the yard of my home in Tucson, Arizona. It only emerges from its burrow in the summer months. I start looking forward to his visits about the time the monsoon season begins. Desert tortoises can be in danger of attack from coyotes, bobcats, and mountain lions, but mostly they are at risk from development, construction of roads, and human activities degrading their habitat. Another factor endangering them is removal from the wild and release of captive tortoises into the wild. Desert tortoises are susceptible to disease caused by a bacterium which results in flu-like symptoms. This disease has the potential to cause massive die-offs. It is suspected that it was introduced by release of an infected tortoise into the wild. It is illegal to release a captive tortoise into the wild or take a wild tortoise from the wild. Each year I see this little buddy I hope it is not the last.
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Little Buddy

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