This is one of the few tortoise species that digs a burrow and it may spend 80% of its time in that burrow. It's not alone down there - as many as 400 other animal species rely on the tortoise burrow for shelter and many hibernate it the burrow along with the tortoise.
The gopher tortoise is a protected species. A Federal permit is required to possess, study or relocate any gopher tortoise.
HABITATLongleaf pine forests, sandy ridges
DIETGrass, legumes, fruit, carrion
LIFE Expectancy40 years