August 20, 2008

Endangered tortoise found burned to death

Associated Press
Los Angeles Times

An endangered tortoise has been found burned to death in a fire grate at Black Rock campground in the Yucca Valley area.

Joe Zarki, information officer for Joshua Tree National Park, says rangers are seeking information from anyone who knows anything related to the dead desert tortoise found Aug. 4. He estimates the tortoise was 45 years old.

Desert tortoises are a threatened species, protected by the federal Endangered Species Act as well as state wildlife laws. The desert tortoise also is California’s official state reptile.