Mother Gopher Tortoise covering her freshly laid eggs.
Gopher Tortoise covering eggs. We had opened especially for Memorial Day and we discovered this Gopher Tortoise laying her eggs. It was the heat of the day and, when we found her, she had completed her task. This picture was taken while she was burying the eggs with her back flippers. As you can see, she had moved quite a bit of sand to do the job. We kept our distance while she finished.

Gopher Tortoises are somewhat reclusive, so we consider this a rare sight in the Enchanted Forest Sanctuary.

    Ben Coffin, 1997

Baby Gopher Tortoise
Baby Gopher Tortoise Here is another rare sight. We spotted this baby gopher tortoise while giving an educational tour. Note that it still has a lot of yellow on its shell.

This burrow is the first one encountered just as you get to the top of the Coquina Ridge on the Learning Trail.


Baby in hand.         Young Gopher Tortoise in the Enchanted Forest Nature Sanctuary.

Click on the picture above for a life size enlargement.

This baby gopher tortoise on the left was found on the scrub ridge July 1st, 1998. It weighed 1.73 ounces and its shell was just under 2 3/4 inches long.

The more mature young gopher tortoise on the right was found on the Hernandez Trail late August, 1999. It is about 4 inches long, and it's shell is much harder and darker than the baby on the left.

Baby on the sand.