Gopher Tortoise

Gopher Tortoise Facts

Can you touch a gopher tortoise?

You may not touch or disturb a Gopher Tortoise or Gopher Tortoise burrow (Active or Inactive) except by permit issued by the director of the Florida Wildlife Conservation Commission! Protected Species Violations will be Prosecuted!

Can gopher tortoises swim?

Gopher tortoises cannot swim well and can easily drown,” it says. “Because gopher tortoises often nest in dunes adjacent to sea turtle nesting beaches, correct identification of these terrestrial animals is important before deciding what action, if any, is necessary.”

What is a gopher tortoise favorite food?


Their primary food sources are lowgrowing grasses and herbs. Examples of their favorite foods are gopher apple and saw palmetto berries. They will eat the pads, fruits, and flowers of prickly pear cactus.

Can I keep a gopher tortoise as a pet?

Keeping gopher tortoise as pets is illegal unless you have a permit. There are many tortoises that have been confiscated in other states or have been taken in after being injured and repaired and are being held by animal rehabilitation facilities around the state.

Do gopher tortoises bite?

Gopher tortoises are docile creatures and don’t bite back to protect themselves. Typically, tortoises will pull their head into their shell and use their front legs as a shield.

What are the predators of gopher tortoises?

Dogs, raccoons and birds are the most common predators of this creature. Humans can be a threat to it. Many aboriginal tribes hunt and eat tortoises. Armadillos and alligators are also found to devour eggs of these creatures.

Why do gopher tortoises go in the ocean?

You may sometimes see gopher tortoises go to the water. It doesn’t mean they’re trying to go into the ocean, they’re just cooling off, Dodson said. The hope is these visual aids will get the point across that gopher tortoises don’t swim and are protected species.

What is the fine for moving a gopher tortoise?

Transgressions against gopher tortoises can be permit violations, resulting in a second-degree misdemeanor punishable by up to 60 days in jail and/or a $500 fine, according to FWC.

What is the fine for killing a gopher tortoise?

Florida law prohibits any person from killing or wounding gopher tortoises, which are protected as threatened in the state. Violating the law is a third-degree felony and punishable by up to five years in prison, a $5,000 fine or both.

What do you feed gophers?

While there are a lot of factors you could consider, gophers will generally eat:
  • Alfalfa and dandelions are two of the most preferred plants that gophers will eat.
  • Succulent vegetation.
  • Fleshy roots of both plants and trees. …
  • Bulbs.
  • Tubers, like potatoes and sweet potatoes.
  • Grasses.
  • Seeds.
  • Flowering plants.

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