Mojave Max emerges for spring

For years, the emergence of Max, southern Nevada's famous desert tortoise, has signaled the beginning of spring. His dramatic appearance coincides with warmer temperatures and longer daylight hours.

LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -- A Las Vegas Valley animal rescue group is searching for homes for dozens of captive desert tortoises. 

With wild populations of tortoises diminishing due to poaching or people capturing them as pets, the "Tortoise Group" is on the hunt for people to open their hearts — and their backyards — to help protect the threatened species. 

Tortoises born in the wild "must stay wild," according to the rescue group. Those cared for as pets can live 80 to 100 years. 

Anyone interested in becoming a "keeper of the tortoise" must have an escape-proof backyard and the ability to build a burrow for the animal.

For more information on adopting a tortoise visit

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