This little gopher tortoise was found by a Neptune Beach family who were in Tallahassee this past frigid weekend and spotted him literally frozen to the middle of the road. Initially, due to the 'paralysis' that ensues when their body temperature gets so low, the family believed he was deceased but wished to remove him from the road and bury him properly. Miraculously! he stirred and went on to respond to warmth, eventually eating and becoming active. He was brought into The Ark this morning and will be in Thaida's until the weather warms a bit and he is eventually returned to .... yes ... Tallahassee! Gopher tortoises will spend their lives attempting to return to their home territory. It is vital that rescued tortoises are returned to their original location (although we will certainly not be returning him to the middle of the road!) We did notice that he has a shell deformity on his plastron (the bottom of his shell). He is eating well and exhibiting normal behavior so we at The Ark feel this will not impede his successful return to the wild.
Gopher Tortoises are Endangered... Learn more about these wonderful, important creatures here: http://nbbd.com/gophertortoise/