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Arizona Game and Fish Department- Wildlife Center

Phoenix, AZ

Our Mission

To conserve Arizona’s diverse wildlife resources and manage for safe, compatible outdoor recreation opportunities for current and future generations.

Adoption Policy

Each year the Arizona Game and Fish Department adopts out hundreds of captive desert tortoises that are surrendered to the department. These tortoises cannot be released back into the wild because captive tortoises can transmit diseases that can decimate our wild population. Desert tortoises are nontraditional pets, but are fascinating animals and families can gain an appreciation of desert wildlife by caring for a tortoise and watching its natural behavior.

Under state law, desert tortoises are available for adoption for Arizona residents only.

Per Arizona Game and Fish Commission Order 43, “possession limit is one desert tortoise per person per household” and per AZGFD Rule (R12-4-407) it is illegal to breed desert tortoises.

Tortoises are typically adopted out from March/early April – mid October, depending on the temperatures since they brumate during the cooler months.

Recommended Pets

Recommended Pets