TWENTYNINE PALMS (CBSLA.com) — It was a long and slow wait, but desert tortoises are finally roaming free in Twentynine Palms, Calif.
Officials say 35 tortoises were recently released at the Sand Hill training area of the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center.READ MORE: 'Supercharge' Storm Expected To Bring Heavy Rainfall To Southland
The hatchlings had been living in a small, fenced area on the base for the past nine years.READ MORE: 101 Freeway Near Sixth Street In Downtown Reopens Ahead Of Schedule
Although they still look small, they’ve been deemed big enough to survive on the outside and have been equipped with radio transmitters to track their movements.MORE NEWS: Sea Of Pink With Message Of Hope Brings Thousands To Costa Mesa For 'Making Strides' Walk
The Corps hopes to eventually release 1,200 tortoises in the area.