Desert Tortoise

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Desert Tortoise

Desert Tortoise
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Herkimer the Desert Tortoise

Herkimer is the oldest resident of the Sacramento Zoo. He was born in 1927 which also happens to be the same year the Zoo opened. And no, Herkimer was not born here; he was donated to the Zoo and now serves as an ambassador to his species. Herkimer can be found out on Zoomobile teaching school children the importance of protecting his species or right here at the Zoo as one of the stars of our Stage Shows.

The Desert Tortoise is the California State Reptile and can live up to 100 years old. Herkimer has one offspring here at the Zoo, Anasazi was born here on October 11, 1992. He is following in his fathers footsteps, helping to teach children and visitors about the importance of conservation.

Desert Tortoises are herbivores. Grasses form the bulk of their diets, but they also eat herbs, annual wildflowers, some shrubs, and new growth of cactuses, as well as their fruit and flowers. Herkimer has been known to sprint across the Reptile House Lawn after a prized Dandelion, his favorite treat.


Population Status

  • C Critically Endangered
  • E Endangered
  • V Vulnerable to Endangerment
  • N Not Threatened

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