Animal Facts
Common Name:
Desert Tortoise
Scientific Name:
Gopherus agassizii
  • Their solitary lifestyle often leads to confrontation between males.
  • Their burrows can be deep, up to 30 ft long, and serve as protection from extreme temperatures and predators.
  • To escape harsher winter conditions, they hibernate from about November - March.
5 in
12 lb
12 in
Life Span:
80 yrs
Number of Young:
6 eggs
  • Desert
  • Grassland
  • Rocky Areas
Fun Facts:
  • Tough scales on the legs protect them from spines on many desert plants.
  • Although they do drink when water is present, most of their moisture comes from plants they eat.
  • Desert tortoises play an important role in dispersing seeds in their feces throughout their habitat.
  • All types of animals rely on their burrows for shelter in the desert.
  • Disease
  • Habitat Loss
  • Poaching / Over Consumption
Endangered Status
Endangered Status
  • Extinct in Wild (EW)
  • Critically Endangered (CR)
  • Endangered (EN)
  • Vulnerable (VU)
  • Near Threatened (NT)
  • Least Concern (LC)
  • Not Evaluated (NE)

Their wild counterparts use tunnels and burrows to escape temperature extremes and danger, our desert tortoises have access to a built-in den off of their large habitat to encourage this natural behavior. 

They can eat the desert plants in their habitat in between the “salads” that are fed 3 times per week.