We know very little about his past, which is the case for most rescued, abandoned, or relinquished beings. However, he was not deemed able to be reintroduced because of his size which indicates he was raised as a “pet.”
Hototo has undergone urolith surgery. Uroliths are formed as a result of improper nutrition or sustained dehydration. The ability of Desert Tortoises to store large amounts of water permits them to live through periods of drought or lack of water.
As fluids are reabsorbed into the body, small solid particles can concentrate and form a stone. These are normally eliminated in urine, but if the stone becomes too large to pass, it can become a problem by eventually blocking the urethra, which in turn, may impede elimination of toxins. X-rays or ultrasound identify the presence of such and surgery is performed by making an incision in front of the leg. This allows fairly non-invasive access to the urolith and its removal.
Hototo is amazing. The moment he arrived in sanctuary, he was up and about exercising a healthy appetite and eager to meet and engage other Tortoises. He is indeed a warrior with a heart of gold. We ourselves are eager to spend more time with him and learn more about this magnificent Tortoise. He models an ever open heart and mind to new possibilities and new realities.