LAS VEGAS - Saturday is Groundhog Day, but the famous Punxsutawney Phil has nothing on southern Nevada's predictor of spring - Mojave Max.
The desert tortoise is Clark County's ambassador of education to help teach and emphasize good stewardship of our delicate natural desert environment.
Max resides at the Red Rock Conservation Area and goes into hiding for a long snooze each winter, then emerges about five or six months later to signal the start of spring.
Thursday, students at Stewart Elementary School learned about Max.
"They get exposed to it like if they see one of our turtles out in the courtyard," said Dawn Euseary with Stewart Elementary School. "We have two desert tortoises in our courtyard that move around, so now that they get to see those tortoises and understand how they live and how they survive, they'll go out and appreciate the tortoises that we do have more."
Clark County students can guess when Max will pop out to eat and enjoy his long stay in the hot desert sun. The winning student will get a personal computer, one for their classroom, and a pizza party field trip to see where Max lives.