One of several Gopher Tortoises residing in the woods and fields of the Betts property. This one is still wearing the dust of it's burrowing. These are quite interesting animals. They play an important part in the ecology of the Southern wilderness, though their numbers have dwindled a great deal due to a plethora of environmental hazards. They burrow extensively, and the mounds created by the tunneling of the Gopher Tortoise are distinctly visible when a healthy population is present. These burrows provide shelter for a number of other animals such as foxes, bobcats, rabbits and snakes, and a noticeable decline of these partnering animals occurs when the tortoise is absent.
Gopher Tortoise down in it's burrow to escape the mid day sun.