U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Pets
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 1.5 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
Jump to a detailed profile or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Business Search - 14 Million verified businesses
Search for:  near: 
 
 
Unread 06-25-2007, 06:32 AM
 
Location: on an island
13,270 posts, read 27,539,171 times
Reputation: 12417
Default Is this a gopher tortoise?

I found this tortoise last night. (I think it is female? Males are supposed to have longer tails, and I never even saw hers)
I think her habitat was disturbed because they are building several new roads on the northern edge of our development.
I carried her back to our house, let her scuttle around a bit while I googled, then released her on the undeveloped land across the street. I know we are not supposed to mess with them, but she's only about a quarter mile from her original stomping grounds, and the terrain is identical to where she'd been.
She'll have acres to roam for a good long while, with no tractors or bulldozers: the people who own that land do not have the funds to develop it.
I found the Wikipedia page for gopher tortoises, and I have to say that this critter seemed bigger than Wikipedia's description. She was at least a foot long, maybe slightly more. She was also very very heavy, which makes me glad because she has obviously been getting enough to eat.
(Unless she was getting ready to lay eggs? But it's awfully late in the season for that.)
Quick reply to this message

 
Unread 06-25-2007, 07:22 AM
 
1,418 posts, read 6,502,504 times
Reputation: 793
Yep, that's a Gopher Tortise. One of the most common turtles in the state - how it ever became a protected species is beyond me.
Quick reply to this message
 
Unread 06-25-2007, 07:38 AM
 
Location: on an island
13,270 posts, read 27,539,171 times
Reputation: 12417
Thanks Prichard.
According to what I've read, a lot of gopher tortoises have been plowed over alive, and eggs and/or hatchlings can be a 90% loss, which might make a dent in the population.
Quick reply to this message
 
Unread 06-25-2007, 08:06 AM
 
1,418 posts, read 6,502,504 times
Reputation: 793
I don't know how there could possibly be a "90%" loss. In order for that to happen, there would have to have been new development on 90% of Florida's land. And, we know that hasn't happened.

First, let's not forget that these turtles are pretty good at finding new homes; they make new homes in peoples yards - so just because a piece of land has a house on it, it could have gopher tourtises as well. In fact, I've found gopher tourtises on the property of three houses that I've personally lived in. They are not rare or uncommon - they are all over the place.

I have nothing against Gopher turtles so long as they don't dig holes right near my house. I do have something against environmentalists who try to make it out that Gopher turtles are some kind of endangerd species, just like Aligators are supposed to be some kind of endangered species. This is just Eco-BS.
Quick reply to this message
 
Unread 06-25-2007, 08:39 AM
 
200 posts, read 579,046 times
Reputation: 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by cil View Post
I found this tortoise last night. (I think it is female? Males are supposed to have longer tails, and I never even saw hers)
I think her habitat was disturbed because they are building several new roads on the northern edge of our development.
I carried her back to our house, let her scuttle around a bit while I googled, then released her on the undeveloped land across the street. I know we are not supposed to mess with them, but she's only about a quarter mile from her original stomping grounds, and the terrain is identical to where she'd been.
She'll have acres to roam for a good long while, with no tractors or bulldozers: the people who own that land do not have the funds to develop it.
I found the Wikipedia page for gopher tortoises, and I have to say that this critter seemed bigger than Wikipedia's description. She was at least a foot long, maybe slightly more. She was also very very heavy, which makes me glad because she has obviously been getting enough to eat.
(Unless she was getting ready to lay eggs? But it's awfully late in the season for that.)
Yes, it's a Gopher. I was very happy to read this thread. We need more people in the world who care about things other than only themselves. I would have done the same thing if I came across her. So cute how the kitty is checking her out.
Quick reply to this message
 
Unread 06-25-2007, 09:03 AM
 
9 posts
Reputation: 8
Isn't that what we commonly call a snapping turtle?If so be carefull especially if shes pregnant.I know of some good ole boys who would run a trot line and make turtle soup with them.Not somthing i would do but people still eat squirrel and rabbits.To each there own i guess.Its how they grew up.
Quick reply to this message
 
Unread 06-25-2007, 09:18 AM
 
200 posts, read 579,046 times
Reputation: 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by dianeroberts View Post
Isn't that what we commonly call a snapping turtle?If so be carefull especially if shes pregnant.I know of some good ole boys who would run a trot line and make turtle soup with them.Not somthing i would do but people still eat squirrel and rabbits.To each there own i guess.Its how they grew up.
No, they are not "snapping turtles".
I think all that eating anything that moved came about during the depression. People will anything when they are starving and have no $ to buy food.
Quick reply to this message
 
Unread 06-25-2007, 09:43 AM
 
Location: Port St. Lucie and Okeechobee, FL
1,298 posts, read 3,471,791 times
Reputation: 977
There's a famous dish among Crackers called "Gopher Stew". Most outsiders think it's some kind of groundhog, but it's really diced tortoise meat cooked in a stew consisting of tomatoes, the "holy trinity" (onions, celery and bell pepper), potatoes, a little flour and a couple of datil peppers, about the hottest pepper available in Florida.

Years ago, the Fort Pierce Jaycees held a Florida Picnic at which they served Gopher Stew, Swamp Cabbage, Gator Tail, Armadillo, Possum, Catfish and Hushpuppies. Delicious. I've also had Snapping Turtle, very good. The Gopher Stew, swamp Cabbage and Gator Tail are all illegal now, unless you buy some farm-raised gator meat.
Quick reply to this message
 
Unread 06-25-2007, 11:55 AM
 
Location: on an island
13,270 posts, read 27,539,171 times
Reputation: 12417
Quote:
Originally Posted by dianeroberts View Post
Isn't that what we commonly call a snapping turtle?If so be carefull especially if shes pregnant.I know of some good ole boys who would run a trot line and make turtle soup with them.Not somthing i would do but people still eat squirrel and rabbits.To each there own i guess.Its how they grew up.
One thing I do know is that it's a tortoise, not a snapping turtle.
I just wasn't sure what kind.
I actually became fairly familiar with snappers while I was living in Port St Joe.
And in PSJ, people still do put out turtle lines, and eat the catch.

I don't know if gophers are quite as endangered as some environmentalists say, but without a doubt, around here, they are losing places to live. That's why I am glad that so much property here is left "as is" rather than manicured.

Remember, the Passenger Pigeon was once the most commonly found bird in North America.
Quick reply to this message
 
Unread 06-25-2007, 12:19 PM
 
Location: Central FL
1,682 posts, read 5,435,984 times
Reputation: 769
When the gopher visited us on Saturday, my mother in law shared with us that this turtle saved her family's life during the depression. Many times it was all they had to eat. She said it tastes like steak.
Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


 
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:
Over $74,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Pets
Similar Threads

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2014, Advameg, Inc.

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25 - Top