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Field Collecting/Observing Sightings of herps in the wild, where-tos and how-tos, as well as photos of herps in their native environment.

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Old 11-09-2020, 07:25 PM   #1
Attacking gopher tortoise!!!

Well, it sure seemed that way the other day when Connie and I came home to find one in the driveway. When I got out of the truck to take pictures and video, he (she?) just started marching in my direction like he meant business.

But apparently he just wasn't afraid of us much, and seemed to find comfort laying next to Connie's truck.

We followed him to his burrow, so hopefully we will see him around more often.
Old 11-12-2020, 04:31 AM   #2
That is a pleasantly bold one. The ones here are varied. Some bold (not quite as good as that one). Some more shy or reserved. A lot of the ones on adjoining properties visit our property
from time to time since we have the tasty stuff around and they can smell it. They are also attracted to the presence of my Manouria (we prevent contact via barriers), a genus which shares some evolutionary history with Gopherus. Probably some pheromone involved.
Old 11-12-2020, 02:04 PM   #3
We used to stay at the Manasota Beach Club, and they had quite a population of gopher tortoises there that were quite tolerant of humans. We wish the ones we have around here would be like that. This one in the video above has likely been around here for a while, but this is the first time we can recall seeing one this size. There is another smaller one in a burrow nearby, but we have only seen him once out and about. I put up a game camera every now and again to monitor his burrow just to make sure he is still here.

I thought at one time registering as a gopher tortoise relocation spot, but the hoops you have to jump through and the red tape proved to be more than I wanted to put up with.

It's like the time that I rescued a box turtle nest from the predations of a family of raccoons. I watched the female lay her eggs right outside our bedroom window, and not more than 10 minutes after she was done, the raccoons came in and started to dig up the eggs. One of the four had been damaged, but I had hopes for the other three and set them up hoping they would hatch. Anyway, I contacted Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission about them, and I thought they were going to lock me up for illegally poaching box turtle eggs. I think I sort of got them to shut up when I asked them that if in the future they are recommending that I just let the raccoons destroy the nest and eat the eggs. (Speak into the microphone, please!) One of the eggs did hatch and we released it down close to our stream.

Yeah, my mistake for calling them, but what a bunch of boneheads, IMHO.
Old 11-12-2020, 09:32 PM   #4
Nice video Rich!
Old 11-12-2020, 09:37 PM   #5
I have had somewhat similar discouragement (and from private individuals as much as the red tape), which is why I never went for a rehabilitation/relocation position even though I am (IMO) suited.
Old 11-12-2020, 11:06 PM   #6
Randall Turner
That is a great video. Tortoises were my first love in the reptile world, but without a place in the country keeping them well is not gonna happen. Maybe one day.

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