Meet Geronimo, our new kid. (Sonoran Desert Tortoise!)

Blog-related announcement first: This is my last Friday blog post! For writing-related reasons, I’ve decided to move my second blog post day from Friday to Thursday. Starting next week, I’ll post on Tuesdays and Thursdays in the late-morning to early-afternoon range (MST).

Now for our family news! We’ve had an addition to our family. I recently mentioned that I’ve been distracted by a tortoise, and I wasn’t kidding. 9 days ago (after a couple of days of deliberation and phone calls), an orphaned Sonoran Desert Tortoise came to live with us.

After a few false starts with names, we finally realized that his name is “Geronimo.”

We’ve been working with the proper agency to get him legally registered to us. Adoptions don’t usually take place until April 1st (end of hibernation), but Geronimo didn’t go into hibernation this cycle. We’re doing a backwards adoption process due to the fact that this is a rescue situation. Desert tortoises in Arizona belong to the state of Arizona, as they’re native wildlife in captivity… you have to be an Arizona resident in order to adopt. We consider it an honor to be one of many Arizona families to adopt a tortoise. We love having Geronimo in our family!

What can I tell you… we fell in love with Geronimo the instant he got home. He’s a funny, sweet, and clever little boy, very active and just full of personality. He’s a character, in fact.


Hello, my name is Geronimo.


We love his little face! Here he is in that same corner of our backyard:



We call Geronimo a “kid” because that’s what the vet calls him, but she said that he’s at least 20. He’ll more than likely outlive us.


Geronimo looking enormous. (He’s not.)


Callaghan took the above pic from ground-level, which made Geronimo in the foreground look huge compared to me. (Sidenote: if my arms weren’t exposed to the elements all the time, they’d be as pale as my legs. I don’t use self-tanner. Haha.)


This is better.


This is how Geronimo really looks compared to me! I’ll get some pics of Geronimo with Callaghan, too.


Geronimo gravitating to the site of his burrow.


Last weekend, we prepared the ground – the highest ground in our backyard – for Geronimo’s burrow. We’ll spend this weekend building the burrow. Geronimo made it clear that he approves of the site.


Geronimo pretending he’s emerging from his future burrow.


We bring Geronimo inside when the temps drop below 70 degrees; we have a pen for him in his own room in the house. He needs to be kept warm during the winter!


Geronimo making his rounds along the gravel.


Geronimo is great on guard duty… he continuously patrols the perimeter of our yard. He also walks through it. He leaves not an inch uncovered. He stops to rest for a minute every once in a while, and then he gets right back to his rounds!

Nenette sometimes watches him from our bedroom window sill. She has no idea what he is. He’s not like any cat she’s ever seen.


He likes to eat the lawn.


We have diverse terrain for Geronimo in our large backyard: gravel, grass, sandy dirt, and clay dirt. We have citrus and desert trees, hibiscus and other flowery bushes, bougainvillea, and a variety of cactuses and succulents. He also likes to walk around on our concrete patio.

The vet declared Geronimo to be in good health when we took him to the avian and exotic animal clinic for a well-check earlier this week.

We also talked about his diet. Geronimo is vegan. He loves to eat our Bermuda grass and the dandelions that grow in it (dandelions are his favorite)! He enjoys leafy greens… we can give him romaine lettuce, says the vet, but not spinach or collard greens, as they’re too high in protein for him.


Geronimo at the vet!


Geronimo. [**happy sigh**]

Happy Friday to you all. I’ll see you next week on Tuesday (as usual) and Thursday!

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