||This is a Gopher Tortoise.
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In my job as a wildlife control operator, I usually deal with the same 8 types of animals: raccoons, squirrels, rats, opossums, armadillos, snakes, bats, and birds. However, from time to time I get a chance to handle an
uncommon species. I really relish these jobs. The above photos are all of animals that I don't usually handle. If you want to learn more, please read my How To Get Rid of Other Wildlife page.
Florida gopher tortoise – heading towards extinction - I have nothing against urban development and commercial housing schemes as long as they do not interfere with the natural habitat of the region. Not only do these ‘developmental’ plans end up disturbing the eco-system of the place but also affects the wildlife existing there, driving many species to extinction. The Florida gopher tortoise (photographed above) is a fine example of a species that is becoming rare thanks to the mushroom growth of urban development in its natural surroundings. Additionally, the reproduction rate of this species is also as slow as its own walking speed. If things remain the same way and no plan is executed to conserve these animals, they will become extinct few years from now.
So, you can imagine my delight when I got hold of this Florida gopher tortoise, knowing how rare it has become now. Known scientifically as Gopherus Polyphemus, the gopher tortoise may look just like an ordinary tortoise with a shell and signature tortoise slow speed. However, what most people do not know is that the gopher tortoise is incredible at digging and burrowing the ground. In fact, it can dig a hole up to 15 feet deep. That explains why it is known as the ‘gopher’ tortoise.
Apart from being endangered due to urbanization, these cute little creatures often die at the hand of motorists speeding along the fast Florida highways. As I held this one in my hand, I felt both excited and sad at the same time. Excited because I got to see a new animal and sad because of the struggle it is facing for survival. Anyways once my excitement died down, I simply took a picture with this beauty (although he does not even look remotely interested) and then let it free.
AAAnimal Control is a privately owned wildlife removal and pest control business, located in Orlando Florida. I deal strictly with wild animals including ones that have died inside houses. I am not an extermination company, but a critter removal
and control specialist. The above photos are some of the many that I've taken in the field over my years of work. Please email me if
you have any questions about the above photographs, or any questions about
wildlife problems or Florida wildlife removal issues.