LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Moving a little slow, and probably a little groggy, but ready to enjoy some fresh air, Mojave Max, southern Nevada’s favorite desert tortoise, woke up from his long winter’s nap marking the arrival of spring-like weather in the Las Vegas valley.
Mojave Max came out of “brumation” (the reptilian form of hibernation) at 11:39 Wednesday morning. That’s important because of the annual contest for Clark County elementary students to guess the exact date and time of Max’s emergence. The Mojave Max Education Program encourages all of us to learn to respect, protect and enjoy the desert that humans share with desert tortoises and many other critters.
The County’s Desert Conservation program is going through the thousands of contest entries and will let us know which student is the winner. That student’s entire class will win Mojave Max t-shirts and olympic-style medals. And – depending on the coronavirus situation – there may be a Pizza Party field trip for that class to the Springs Preserve, where Max and several of his tortoise friends live. The winning student and his or her teacher also win laptop comuters.
Warmer temperatures, longer daylight hours, and his own internal clock are all factors contributing to Mojave Max’s emergence every year.
The earliest Mojave Max has ever emerged was back February 14 (2005). The latest was on April 17, (2012).
EDITOR’S NOTE: The Spring Preserves provided 8 News Now with the video of Mojave Max.