UNITED STATES NEWS

‘Mojave Max’ tortoise emerges in Vegas; latest since 2000

Apr 25, 2023, 12:34 PM | Updated: 1:08 pm

LAS VEGAS (AP) — A desert tortoise that is the focus of schoolchild predictions and local lore about the start of spring has emerged from its winter burrow at a nature preserve in Las Vegas, officials said Tuesday.

Mojave Max’s appearance above ground with a burrow-mate at 3:40 p.m. Monday at the Springs Preserve marked the latest date since an annual watch contest began in 2000 for the critter compared locally with Punxsutawney Phil in Pennsylvania. Phil’s handlers said Feb. 2 that their groundhog predicted their spring wouldn’t arrive until April.

In Las Vegas, where the threatened species’ reptilian winter rest is called brumation, the earliest a Mojave Max has emerged since 2000 was a little before noon on Feb. 14, 2005. The latest had been April 17, 2012.

Three male tortoises have borne the moniker Mojave Max. Today’s Max is marked with a radio transmitting device attached to his shell. The tortoise seen with Mojave Max on Monday does not have a name.

Biologists at the Springs Preserve think this year’s exceptionally cold winter that brought frequent rain and abundant snow to mountains in the West also kept the desert surface cool later into the spring, preserve spokesman Tom Bradley Jr. said Tuesday.

“It’s taken longer for the soil in the burrow to warm,” Bradley said. “Once it finally warmed up, Max came out.”

The desert tortoise is considered a keystone species and an indicator of the health of a fragile desert ecosystem.

The habits and habitat of Mojave Max are studied by children at Clark County public and private schools, where officials say more than 4,200 students in grades K-5 entered this year’s contest to guess the day the tortoise would emerge. Officials said a winner of the 23rd annual contest will be announced soon.

United States News

The Supreme Court on Friday struck down a Trump-era ban on bump stocks. (Photo by George Frey/Getty...

Associated Press

Supreme Court strikes down Trump-era ban on rapid-fire rifle bump stocks, reopening political fight

The Supreme Court on Friday struck down a Trump-era ban on bump stocks, the rapid-fire gun accessories used in the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history.

5 hours ago

Associated Press

Couple rescued from desert near California’s Joshua Tree National Park after running out of water

RIVERSIDE, Calif. (AP) — A couple hiking in the desert south of Joshua Tree National Park in Southern California was rescued after running out of water, authorities said. On Sunday, the man called 911 and reported that his girlfriend was dehydrated and weak, according to a statement from the Riverside County Sheriff’s Office posted Monday […]

6 hours ago

Hugo López of Al Otro Lado advocacy group hands a pamphlet to Antonio Cortes, a Mexican man who wa...

Associated Press

Some Mexican shelters see crowding south of the border as Biden’s asylum ban takes hold

Some shelters south of the U.S. border are caring for many more migrants now that the Biden administration stopped considering most asylum requests.

6 hours ago

Associated Press

Crews rescue 28 people trapped upside down high on Oregon amusement park ride

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Emergency crews in Oregon rescued 28 people Friday after they were stuck for about half an hour dangling upside down high on a ride at a century-old amusement park. Portland Fire and Rescue said on the social platform X that firefighters worked with engineers at Oaks Park to manually lower the […]

6 hours ago

Associated Press

Independent report criticizes Cuomo’s ‘top-down’ management of New York’s COVID-19 response

NEW YORK (AP) — An investigation into New York’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic found former Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s “top down” approach of dictating public health policy through his office, rather than coordinating with state and local agencies, sewed confusion during the crisis. In the state’s nursing homes, where some 15,000 people died, the administration’s […]

7 hours ago

Associated Press

Judge dismisses lawsuit challenging federal rules to accommodate abortions for workers

CHICAGO (AP) — A lawsuit filed by 17 states challenging federal rules entitling workers to time off and other accommodations for abortions lacks standing, a federal judge in Arkansas ruled on Friday. Republican attorneys general from each state, led by Arkansas and Tennessee, sued the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in April, days after the agency […]

8 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Sanderson Ford

3 new rides for 3 new road trips in Arizona

It's time for the Sanderson Ford Memorial Day sale with the Mighty Fine 69 Anniversary, as Sanderson Ford turned 69 years old in May.

...

COLLINS COMFORT MASTERS

Here are 5 things Arizona residents need to know about their HVAC system

It's warming back up in the Valley, which means it's time to think about your air conditioning system's preparedness for summer.

...

Collins Comfort Masters

Here’s 1 way to ensure your family is drinking safe water

Water is maybe one of the most important resources in our lives, and especially if you have kids, you want them to have access to safe water.

‘Mojave Max’ tortoise emerges in Vegas; latest since 2000