Nevada Governor Adopts State Reptile, Desert Tortoise, As Pet

Gov. Brian Sandoval advocates tortoise adoption as he brings Carson to the governor’s mansion.

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Gov. Brian Sandoval and Carson, an 11-year-old Desert tortoise Via Gov. Brian Sandoval/Facebook
John Virata

The governor of Nevada has adopted an 11-year-old desert tortoise, ensuring the next century of governors to occupy the state’s mansion will have a friendly reptile to consult when things don’t always go as planned.

Gov. Brian Sandoval, in his second and final term, adopted Carson via the Tortoise Group, a rescue based in Las Vegas that finds homes for tortoises.

“It’s a chance to have a legacy here at the mansion… and also a mansion mascot as well,” Sandoval told the Las Vegas Review-Journal. “This is something the children and the people of Nevada can enjoy for generations. Even better, it’s our state reptile.”

The executive director of the Tortoise Group, Kobe Shaw, gave the governor tips on how to care for Carson, what to feed him and what not to feed him, and how to best keep him in the winter.

Posted by Brian Sandoval on Monday, June 27, 2016

Carson will live out the rest of his very long life (desert tortoises can live 80 years or more) on the mansion grounds, where the back yard is grassy, and he will have a nice shady enclosure to lounge in, according to the Review-Journal. A tortoise burrow has also been dug for him, giving him a place to escape the rigors of life as the mansion’s official mascot.

“There are a lot of tortoises like him that need good homes, and if anyone out there can provide a good home we’d really appreciate it because what an incredible, incredible animal and pet,” Sandoval told the Review-Journal.

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