Partnership with Gopher Tortoise Commission


Before & After!
Gopher Tortoise Receives a Sporty New Shell
January 20, 2018


This little guy needed some intensive care from Owls Nest and our friends at Citrus Park Animal Hospital were up for the challenge. After receiving a little TLC, he got a spiffy new shell and was able to be successfully released back to the wild. Another happy ending made possible by some very special people. We receive so many Gopher injuries and incident property finds in a year that it is important we recognized just a few of the people that make our efforts successful. A big thank you to the two FWC Officers that helped us get him that night and a special thanks to Heather and Dr Brooks at Citrus Park Animal Hospital for patching him up!gopher1

We use a dental fill that is natural and permanent, Dr Brook’s team have helped us fixed over 150 tortoises in the 3 1/2 years that Owl’s Nest has been working closely with the Commission! We get them through the pain and antibiotics, stabilize them and get them to Heather and Dr Brook’s at Citrus Park Animal Hospital. Heather is a real artist when it comes to patching gopher tortoise shells.

Tortoise shells are both very tough and are designed to get hurt by predators- absorbing all the abuse the body would otherwise have to deal with. Injuries to tortoise’s shells occur in many ways. Contact with motor vehicles since tortoise’s burrow and forage for food near roads and often try to cross them. Curious dogs with strong jaws can cause damage to the shell sometimes penetrating deep enough to injure the tortoise. Contacting us in a timely manner can make all the difference.
Gopher tortoises are listed as a State Threatened species, and both they and their burrows are protected by state law. The gopher tortoise (Gopherus polyphemus) has been regulated in Florida since 1972 and has been fully protected since 1988. Despite the afforded protection, gopher tortoise populations throughout the state have declined. If you ever see a gopher tortoise, you’re in for a treat, but make sure that you don’t touch, feed, or harass them.
If you see a gopher tortoise in distress, please contact us and an Owl’s Nest licensed volunteer will take it from there. Owl’s Nest Sanctuary for Wildlife is fully permitted and works closely with the Gopher Tortoise Conservation Program through the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
Owl’s Nest Sanctuary for Wildlife
813 920 5495 or 813 598 5926


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