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Mojave Max Emerges, Signaling Sign Of Spring

Local officials say they see a sign of spring in southern Nevada with the emergence of a desert tortoise from a winter form of hibernation in an enclosure at a federal preserve outside Las Vegas.

Clark County conservation program spokeswoman Heather Green said the tortoise dubbed Mojave Max was seen above-ground Wednesday near the visitor center at Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area.

The debut was among the latest in the 18-year history of a contest that lets Las Vegas-area schoolchildren guess the time and date the local representative of the endangered species will emerge from its winter burrow.

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The earliest was Feb. 14, 2005. The latest was April 17, 2012.

Officials like to compare Mojave Max in Nevada with the groundhog Punxsutawney Phil in Pennsylvania.