Thursday, November 4, 2010

Gopher Tortoise

Jim drove in the yard..blowing the horn…and yelling “get your camera!!”.  There is a big turtle walking down the road.

We live on a dead-end dirt road. I don’t know where it came from…but it was on a mission and it didn’t want to stop and visit.

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Here is a close up of the boney structures under its neck.  I read that males use this when battling another male …they use it to try and  flip the opponent over onto it’s back.11.3.10 037cs

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It just kept walking…look at the claws!  11.3.10 044cs No wonder they can dig burrows.11.3.10 041cs

I kept trying to figure out a place for it on our property…..but it is illegal to remove them from their home range. 

It looks as if it wanted to see what the camera was and headed right towards me.11.3.10 042cs

Jim took this picture of us so you could see how big it is.

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After the photo op it just kept on walking….11.3.10 039cs

There are tree farms on both sides of this road and on both sides after the cross road. Perhaps it has a mate or knows of one and is headed that way. They can have and use several burrows and may be headed to one of those.  I hope so. I would love to have it stay in the area….and be free to roam.


  1. wow, never seen such a big one! it must be so old.

  2. WOW, that is one Huge turtle to wander the neighborhood. That bony structure under the neck is unusual.

  3. What fntastic photos and how exciting having the Tortoise on your door step. Do they travel large distances? As you say it would be nice to have him living nearby. Diane

  4. I have seen a lot of gophers and have several living on my property, but that is the largest one I have ever seen.

    I wonder how old it is.

  5. What a sight to see. He's a big one.

  6. He is a beauty! I wonder what he weighs? Moving that house around must take cosiderable effort. ATB!

  7. Oh, I love him. Y'all are gorgeous. Yes, if you could find him a mate, and somehow contain him on your property for their own safety. Some idiot (we have many idiots around here) will come along and cause him harm.

  8. Fantastic photos and a great photo op for you! With most wildlife you have to be quick to get the shot, but with this guy you could take your time. I love the "action" in the fifth photo--great shot!

  9. That looks like a sulcata tortoise (african) not a gopher tortoise. It could be some ones pet.

  10. Rodney..I did a search on the Sulcata Tortoise and it did look like it. I originally called it the "Gopher" because of a photo on Wickipedia. I wish I had followed it to see where it was a burrow in the area or just trying to find it's home. I can't believe someone would just drop it's done all the time with dogs and cats in this area.

  11. Wow that's one mighty crawler, fascinating!

  12. I've seen my fair share of gopher turtles having grown up in Florida; but this one takes the cake.

  13. Wow, that is a huge tortoise in your back yard! Lovely photos!


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