Wednesday, Aug. 23

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Wildlife World Zoo hatches baby African Spurred Tortoises

Meet the newest additions to the Wildlife World Zoo. Baby African Spurred Tortoises recently hatched, and if they look different than you had expected, that's because hatchlings are pale yellow at birth and only 2 to 3 inches in size. 

African Spurred Tortoise Facts:

  • Third largest tortoise in the world
  • Can get over 250lbs
  • Found in the Sahara Desert in Africa
  • Can live over 100 years
  • Gets the water they need from the foods that they eat and has thick skin which helps restrict water loss.
  • Digs burrows underground to avoid the heat
  • Can take 30 years to reach their full-grown size
  • Uses hard shell to product its self from predictors and they are made of the same keratin found in fingernails and hooves, scutes protect the bony plates of the shell from injury and infection.
  • The African Spurred Tortoise digs burrows in the sand that can extend over 20 feet or more. These burrows and tunnels give access to higher moisture levels in their arid environment. 
  • They spend the hottest parts of the day in these habitats.
  • They are corpuscular (active dawn & dust)
  • Clutches may contain 15 to 30 eggs or more. 
  • Incubation lasts around 8 months 
  • Hatchlings are pale yellow and only 2 -3 inches at birth, however, they can grow quite rapidly reaching 6- 10 inches within the first few years.
  • The African Spurred Tortoise is classed as Vulnerable by the IUCN. Habitat loss is one of the major reasons that numbers have declined mainly due to urbanization and over grazing by domestic livestock. This species is also eaten by nomadic tribes and used to make longevity potions in Japan. They are also captured and kept as pets in Europe and North America. It is mostly young tortoises that are captured for trade and as it takes 15 years for them to reach maturity, it is very unlikely that they are able to reproduce themselves and therefore could face extinction.
  • Is also known as sulcata tortoise.
  • Unlike turtles, Tortoises are usually herbivorous and can't swim. 
  • One easy way to tell 'em apart: look at their feet and shells. Water turtles have flippers or webbed feet with long claws, and their shells are flatter and more streamlined. Tortoises have stubby, elephant-like feet and heavier, domed shells.
  • Tortoises are solitary roamers. Some mother tortoises are protective of their nests, but they don't care for their young after they hatch.
  • Group of tortoises is called a creep (Although you would very rarely see a group in the wild)
  • Shells have nerve endings, so tortoises can feel every rub, pet, or scratch 
  • You won't be able to tell a tortoise's sex until it reaches a certain size, which varies by breed. The most obvious tell is the underside of the shell for mating purposes, it's flatter on females and curved on males. Males also tend to be larger and have longer tails.
  • Like other reptiles, tortoises detect the faintest of smells with the vomeronasal organ, or Jacobson's Organ, on the roof of their mouths. Instead of flicking their tongues, they pump their throats to circulate air through the nose and around the mouth 

The Wildlife World Zoo is located at 16501 W. Northern Ave. in Litchfield Park.
For more information on all the zoo's exciting attractions and events, call 623-935-WILD or check out their website:

Local chef takes hot dogs to the next level

It has been just over a year since chef Vincent Sowa opened Doglicious hotdogs. With signature dogs, he has created a huge following and turned the simple hot-dog into an haute-cuisine.   At the same time, his example inspires others to follow the passion. 

His restaurant offers more than 24 signature hotdogs to try, like the Mac Attack, Aloha, La Columbiana, Sonoran and classic Chicago's. They even offer authentic Belgium Liege waffles as well as some tasty fresh salads. Featured as one of the top ten places to dine by the Arizona Republic. This place is worth checking out. 

For more information, visit: and Facebook:

Doglicious Hot Dogs 
5060 West Bell Rd Suite A Glendale AZ 85308 
Ph: 602-900-5059

Getting Girly: DIY Makeup class for kids

Just in time for back-to-school Girly-girlz is offering a DIY make-up class giving girls a chance to create their own beauty products and discover their own look. From bath bombs, to lip gloss, girls can tap into their creative side making some unique products they're sure to use.

DIY Make-up Class

  • Saturday, August 26 and Sept 16: 4 p.m.  5:30 p.m.
  • Girls will make their own bath bombs, lip gloss, and more, to take home.
  • $29.95/girl. Tax is already included. Ages 6 and up, please (this is a drop-off event).
  • Advance booking required. to reserve your spot, and include your girly's name & age in the Comments box. 

For more information, visit: 

Girly Girlz Scottsdale
15425 N. Scottsdale Rd., Suite 240
Scottsdale, AZ 85254
(480) 998-4832

Locally owned bakery takes the art of the cupcake to new levels in the west valley

The cupcake arrives in the West Valley at this locally owned and operated Avondale outpost. Inventive flavors like Almond Joy, Samoa Girl Scout cookies, and Oreos, are on hand as well standbys like Red Velvet and Lemon Chiffon. Don't miss the bakery's beer-based cupcakes, including the Blue Moon and Orange Glaze or the Guinness Stout and Bacon.  

For more information, visit:

Kreative Kupcakes Bakery
701 E. Western Ave. Avondale, AZ
Phone: 623-932-1611

Schnepf Farms isn't just a great place to visit, it is a great place to stay with new airstream "cabins"

We know Schepf farms is a great place to visit for its corn maze and pumpkin party and peach fest.  But now you can stay over as well with accommodations in airstream trailers. 

For morre information, visit:

24610 S Rittenhouse Rd, Queen Creek, AZ 85142
Phone: (480) 987-3100

Create your own succulent garden even if you don't have a green thumb

Succulents are plants that look like pieces of art, with interesting shapes and colors.  And you don't need to have a green thumb to create your own masterpiece.  At creative succulents, they use faux plants to create beautiful succulent gardens. And they offer monthly workshops.

For more information, visit:

Creative Succulents
2435 S Industrial Park Ave
Tempe, Arizona 85282
Phone: (480) 620-1404