We do not know his exact history; however, most likely someone captured him and kept him as a pet. He was malnourished and his shell became deformed, most likely due to a lack of calcium. It is hardened now, but the plastron is still not shaped correctly. He also had a respiratory disease common to captive desert tortoises and he cannot be released into the wild.
About the California Desert Tortoise
Order: Chelonia; Family: Testudinidae; Species: Gopherus agassizii californiae
Range: South-West coast of North America; from the tip of Baja to southern California, and the desert areas of Nevada and Arizona.
Habitat: They inhabit semi-arid grasslands, thorn scrub, gravelly desert washes, canyon bottoms and rocky hillsides below 3,530 ft.
Diet: Herbivorous. Diet composition varies throughout the tortoise's range. if winter rainfall has been sufficient to result in germination of annuals, these are used heavily when the tortoises emerge from winter torpor (brumation). Other herbs, grasses, some shrubs and the new growth of cacti and their flowers comprise a major portion of the diet. If there is no summer rain, tortoises will utilize dry forage.
Lifespan: 80-100 years.
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