Torts with Personality

Chelsea Conlin

Our Tortoises are the Rock Stars at Red Rock Canyon’s Visitor Center.

Our team of volunteers tender-lovingly care for them, and visitors of all ages delight in watching them go about their daily lives – from eating and interacting.

Meet each one of them:


Betty, like most of the other females in the habitat, is likely in her 40s. She weighs about 8 pounds and is 11 inches long. She has a very symmetrical shell, and the back scute on her shell looks a little like half a “B” turned on its side.


Hugo is at least 50 years old. He weighs 31 pounds, which is twice as large as a normal male Mojave Desert Tortoise! He was abandoned in a back yard with a bag of dog food. Tortoises are herbivorous, so we think the poor diet made him grow too large and deformed his shell and gular horn. Since 2012 Hugo has been eating a healthy vegetarian diet and is doing well.



Libby is the largest female in the habitat. She weighs almost 11 pounds and is 14 inches long. She has a beautiful, perfectly rounded shell. Because of this she could right herself if she ever flipped over.


Lucie is the oldest, smallest, and smartest of the adult females. She weighs 6.5 pounds and is 11 inches long. She has a very indented shell due to poor nutrition in her youth. Sometimes she pushes little Roxie around like a bulldozer.


Mae weighs almost 8 pounds and is 11 inches long. She looks a lot like Betty, but has a notch in her shell near her neck. Do you see it?


Max hatched in 1989. He weighs 15.5 pounds and is 16 inches long. Sometimes he can be a picky eater. He likes to hang out in one corner of his enclosure in the mornings to warm up in the sun.


Roxie is tiny and adorable! She is about 5 years old, weighs almost 3 pounds, and is 9 inches long. She moved to Red Rock in July, 2017 and is growing quickly. She came from a home that had 40 tortoises in the back yard!


Shelby is at least 45 years old. She weighs almost 9 pounds and is 12 inches long. Most Desert Tortoises have 13 scutes, but Shelby has one extra. Can you find it? Shelby is usually the last girl to come out for breakfast.


Willie weighs almost 9 pounds and is 12 inches long. She laid 8 eggs in 2014. The back scute on her shell looks a little like a “W” – like her name!


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Mailing Address:

Friends of Red Rock Canyon
1000 Scenic Drive
Las Vegas, NV  89161

Phone: (702) 515-5360 

Fax: (702) 515-5388 


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