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Desert Tortoises Relocated Near Las Vegas

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(Image credit: Ken Bohn/San Diego Zoo)

A Mojave desert tortoise set her sights on eating a cactus bloom immediately after being released into the desert by Paula Kahn, Ph.D., a San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research scientist.

The tortoise was one of 36 tortoises relocated from the Desert Tortoise Conservation Center to protected desert land south of Las Vegas on Wednesday. Each tortoise wears a VHS transmitter the size of a small stack of quarters.

In addition, this and 23 of those animals also carry GPS units that will provide detailed data about the animals' movements and habitat choices. Scientists will track the tortoises to gather detailed data that will be used to refine translocation methods as part of a desert tortoise recovery program.

Live Science Staff
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