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Southeastern US

Gopher Tortoise

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

Fun Fact
Elk are considered the noisiest species of deer.
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