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California Briefing / San Diego

Zoo helps save desert tortoises

February 08, 2009|Tony Perry

The San Diego Zoo is joining the federal effort to save the threatened desert tortoise, officials announced Saturday.

Zoo specialists will aid the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in operating the 250-acre tortoise conservation center near Las Vegas, home to about 1,000 desert tortoises. The center is run by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management.

Biologists from the zoo will monitor the health of the tortoises and help those that are ailing.

Bob Williams, Nevada field supervisor for the Fish and Wildlife Service, called the agreement "a great step forward" in saving the desert tortoise from extinction.

-- Tony Perry

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