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Gopher Tortoise is a Resident of Old Town Campground

Old Town Campground hosts the federally protected gopher tortoise and their burrows. The tortoises in Florida are listed as Threatened. In Florida, there is a Gopher Tortoise Day along with them being the state's tortoise.

Because it is protected, there are a few rules that you need to know.

  1. Do not feed them. Yes, I know you want to give them lettuce and other treats such as cantaloupe or grapes. That's a really bad idea because it distracts them from hunting for the nutritious food they really need to live 50 - 60 years. Their natural food consists of broadleaf grasses, wiregrass, prickly pear grass, wild grape, blackberry, blueberry and many more. They feed within 160 feet of their burrows.

  2. Do not try to pet or pick up. Just leave them alone. View them from afar. Take pictures from far enough away that they're not disturbed as I did with these videos taken by me.

  3. It is illegal to keep as a pet. Consequently, do not feed, try to pick up or capture.

  4. Do not bother or destroy their burrows. Just avoid their burrows and do not allow dogs or cats to try to dig or chase the tortoise.

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