|This female desert tortoise was sunning herself on a dirt road in the Mojave National Preserve near Kelso Dunes. She later found refuge in the shade of a desert plant.|
If you come across a tortoise, do not disturb it. But if you find it in the middle of a well traveled road where it is in jeopardy, follow these instructions from the tortoise experts:
Carefully pick up the tortoise using both hands and hold it upright in its normal walking position. Carry it carefully across the road in the same direction it was heading, and take it no more than a few hundred yards into the desert. Place the tortoise in the shade.
For me, tortoises are therapeutic. How can one not admire an animal that can go years without a drink of water, endure sweltering temperatures, and enjoys rare meals of wildflowers? In our age of smart phones, OHV lanes, food courts, and vending machines, we could all take a step back and appreciate the strength and beauty of a tortoise.