It’s really warming up here in Florida and with little rain, animals are on the move trying to access the limited resources available. This includes the gopher tortoise, a species in decline across it range. How can you help them if you see one?
First: you are allowed to move them off the road. Often you will hear people say that it is illegal but you are allowed to move them to the other side of the road in the direction they are traveling.
Second: Never put them in a body of water. They are not aquatic.
If you see a tortoise that will require additional assistance, contact the FWC weekdays from 8 am to 5 pm at 1-850-921-1030 or after hours or on the weekends at 1-888-404-3922
Never attempt to relocate a gopher tortoise on your own. Gopher tortoises have an amazingly strong homing instinct and will try their best to return to their home burrows. This puts them at greater risk for road mortality, predation as they lack the protection of a burrow as they wander, and exposure to the elements.
Let’s all work to protect our amazing animal friends that we are so lucky to share the Earth with!
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