Gopher tortoises are named after their ability to dig large and deep burrows. This shelter provides year-round protection from extreme heat to frigid temperatures. Using its strong front legs, the tortoise can dig a burrow that is 10 feet deep and 40 feet wide. Many other species depend on the burrows dug by gopher tortoises for survival. As an herbivore, the gopher tortoise will forage for grasses and leaves. Populations of gopher tortoises are rapidly declining due to habitat loss.

Find me at EPZ

Location: This animal is not on exhibit. It is part of our educational collection and may only be seen in programs inside or outside of the zoo.

Arrived at EPZ: Sandy - 12/04/2015