Mojave Max, a desert tortoise whose first appearance is seen as a sign of spring, has emerged from his burrow at the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area near Las Vegas.
A Clark County spokeswoman says Mojave Max emerged just after 2 p.m. Tuesday. It's not the earliest or the latest the captive mascot has emerged from his reptilian form of winter hibernation in the 12 years since the tradition began. The winter nap is called brumation.
The earliest was Feb. 14. The latest was April 14. Last year, it was March 30. Warm temperatures, longer daylight hours and an internal clock are believed to be factors in the timing.
An annual contest lets southern Nevada schoolchildren guess the date and time Max will emerge. A winner hasn't been announced yet.
Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.