Local

Aug 29, 2014 8:59 PM by Alexandra Bates

Unlawful killing of a desert tortoise

PHOENIX - A desert tortoise was shot and killed north of Fountain Hills some time around August 20. The Arizona Game and Fish Department is asking the public for help in solving the case.

The Juvenile tortoise was part of research for years to monitor and conserve desert tortoises in order to keep this species off the Endangered Species List.

This specific tortoise was also part of Game and Fish's Sponsor-A-Turtle Program, which was started to help sponsor research.

The study performed on this tortoise and 15 other juvenile tortoises has revealed that juvenile tortoises make long-distance movement. Previously, long-distance movement was believed to be an activity that only adult tortoises do.

Anyone with information about the killing of this tortoise can contact the department's Operation Game Thief hotline toll-free at (800) 352-0700 or visit www.azgfd.gov/thief

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