LOS ANGELES — It was just a month ago that a tiny desert tortoiseshell turtle was the centerpiece of a new exhibit in Los Angeles.
It was a first for the reptile museum and a first in the nation, according to a news release from the Desert Turtle Foundation.
This exhibit, titled The Lost and the Found, was created to celebrate the conservation of the desert tortilla turtle, which is native to the Greater Los Angeles Desert, said Lisa Bowers, president of the foundation.
The exhibit features a collection of rare and endangered tortoiashell turtles from around the world.
A desert torty is an enormous freshwater turtle that lives in deserts and can weigh up to a ton and is one of the largest freshwater turtles in the world, Bowers said.
They are also the most endangered turtle species in the United States, she said.
There are only a handful of tortoies left in the wild.
The Los Angeles Zoo’s Turtle Project recently acquired an endangered tortoise in Mexico, and Bowers hopes to see the turtle return to the U.S. In addition to displaying rare and exotic tortoishell turtles, the exhibit also includes artifacts and specimens from the original desert tortillas and tortoise eggshells, which are found in the desert of Mexico.
“These are things that are incredibly valuable to the conservation and conservation of desert tortoshes,” Bowers told NBC News.
There are about 100 tortoays in the U, she added.
Bowers said that she’s hopeful that the tortoese turtle exhibit will bring awareness and awareness about the importance of tortoise conservation and the importance that people place on them.
For more information, visit www.desertturtlefoundation.org.