Three-Legged Desert Tortoise Finds New Home At Posh Arizona Resort

September 10, 2018

Cisco, a desert tortoise who was hit by a car near Tuscon, AZ and had to have one of his hind legs amputated because of the accident, has found a new home at the Cibola Vista Resort and Spa in Peoria. 

Cisco was found injured in Wickenberg. He did have a fracture in his leg so it had to be amputated, Tegan Wolf, program coordinator for the Arizona Game and Fish Department's Desert Tortoise Adoption program said in a video release put out by the AZGFD.  "It took a few months for him to heal but we did find a great home for him at the resort," Wolf said. 

Desert tortoise


Once in captivity, desert tortoises can no longer be released into the wild due to the potential for them to introduce disease to wild populations of tortoises.

The resort adopted Cisco to help raise awareness about the reptile as well as the AZGFD's desert tortoise adoption program.

"We're looking to join up with the Arizona Game and Fish Department and try to do some volunteerism," Luis Forty, Cibola Vista Resort Manager said. "There is a big adoption program out for Arizona (tortoises) and we wanted to introduce that to our owners and guests."

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The resort built a custom 18 x 18-foot enclosure with a full irrigation system, two hides, one for when it gets too hot and one for when it gets cool, and a custom wading pool for Cisco.

“It was great to partner with Cibola Vista Resort, where Cisco not only has a permanent home, he now serves as an educational ambassador for Arizona’s wildlife to visitors from around the world,” Wolf said.  

Sonoran Desert Tortoise Feeding And Diet

Cisco received the red-carpet treatment when he arrived at the resort, complete with a welcoming committee of staff and guests. If you live in Arizona, and want to adopt a desert tortoise, visit the Arizona Game and Fish Department's website at

Those wanting to adopt a tortoise, which are of varying ages and sizes, must have a securely enclosed yard or secure enclosure in the yard that is free from potential hazards such as swimming pools, fire pits, or dogs. The enclosure must include a shelter that enables the tortoise to stay safe during the heat of the summer and the cold of the winter.


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