Today, our gopher turtle returned. We had to make special accommodations for Mr. Gopher (Tortoise) last summer during construction because the gopher tortoise is endangered. His burrow has looked active but he is a stealthy little critter. Today he came marching across the back yard as if he had a mission. We’ve assumed the turtle is a “he” for some reason. We debated picking him up but he hissed at us. We figured that the minute we picked him up the Florida wildlife ranger would drive by and it would look as if we were planning cooter stew. Eventually he set off south towards the beehive and an underbrush exit into the blackberry brambles in the adjacent lot.
Can you see the three gouged scratches down his shell?