Gopher Tortoises hail from North America and can be found in areas around Florida, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana and South Carolina. They are one of the oldest living species dating back 60 million years. They are considered an important species because they dig long burrows that eventually provide shelter for many other animals, like mice, foxes and skunks.
The Gopher Tortoise can reach about 12 inches long and has a life span of up to 100 years. They prefer living in dry areas where they scavenge for food. As herbivores, they eat a wide range of plants, grasses, legumes and mushrooms. Unfortunately populations are threatened by loss of habitat and predation.