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Given a baby Sulcata...not sure it's actually a Sulcata. Help!

Discussion in 'North American Tortoises (genus Gopherus)' started by darlingtiffy, Jul 26, 2018.

  1. darlingtiffy

    darlingtiffy Member

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    Hello All!! My husband brought home an adorable tort he was given by an acquaintance who "couldn't keep it". They said it was a Sulcata. We have been doing all this set up and research the kiddos are all excited, but I'm worried its not a Sulcata after all. We're in Florida so Gophers are prevalent and I don't want to break the law with what should be a wild animal.

    The thing is, with all the research I can't pinpoint for sure one way or the other. It seems to have so many Sulcata traits, with the shell and attitude etc, but y'all know how similar Gopher babies can be. I'm going crazy over here. There are no exotic vets in our area, or remotely close, so I can't just run it up to the vet. Can anyone look at my not so great cell phone pics and help me out before my head explodes?

    20180726_142945.jpg 20180726_143019.jpg 20180726_142957.jpg 20180726_143035.jpg
    samkerns1 likes this.
  2. TriciaStringer

    TriciaStringer Well-Known Member

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    You are right to be concerned. It looks like a gopher tortoise to me. An expert will comment soon. We had another member with that same delimma and she was able to call an organization to come get it. I’ll try and find the post.
    darlingtiffy likes this.
  3. TriciaStringer

    TriciaStringer Well-Known Member

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  4. wellington

    wellington Well-Known Member Moderator 5 Year Member

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    I don't get too see many gopher but this doesn't look like a sulcata. Being in FL makes it more likely a gopher which I believe is illegal to own.
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  5. Yvonne G

    Yvonne G Old Timer TFO Admin 10 Year Member! Platinum Supporter

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    Deffinetly NOT a sulcata, but seems awfully yellow for a gopher.

    This is off the web:
    [​IMG]
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2018
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  6. Tom

    Tom The Dog Trainer 5 Year Member

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    Not a sulcata.
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  7. Markw84

    Markw84 Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    Yes, that is indeed a young gopher tortoise, Gopherus polyphemus - native to your area.
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  8. darlingtiffy

    darlingtiffy Member

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    Yes, Gophers are illegal to keep. This baby is super yellow. Like Sulcata yellow. Has two of what look like spurs on each thigh too. Idk....I look at pics of baby Gophers and their info and it only matches some of it. I look at pics of baby Sulcatas and their info and it only matches some of it. How the heck am I supposed to tell??
  9. TriciaStringer

    TriciaStringer Well-Known Member

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    Call wildlife and fisheries and get them to come check for you. They’ll know what to do.
  10. Toddrickfl1

    Toddrickfl1 Well-Known Member TFO Supporter

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    That is a baby gopher tortoise native to FL but illegal to keep. There was another member @Dianne iin South Florida found some gophers too. She could probably tell you who she called from the state to give it to
  11. wccmog10

    wccmog10 Active Member

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    Looks like a gopher tortoise to me, and I have seen a lot of gopher's. We used to raise them for a head start program at the university where I went to graduate school. I'm not really sure what to tell you to do with him though. I would recommend trying to get ahold of someone with Florida fish and wildlife, but they need to be someone that knows what they are looking at- maybe the state herpetologist? Good for you trying to do the right thing. I'm sorry your kids won't get to have this tortoise to raise. I guess now you will just have to go find a tortoise species you are allowed to keep in Florida :). I know Florida does a lot with gopher tortoises, so I am sure that the fish and wildlife website should have information of someone you can contact.

    -Wade
  12. Via Infinito

    Via Infinito Active Member

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    Definitely not a sulcata

    that colour and spike pattern on the front legs
  13. samkerns1

    samkerns1 Member

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    My coworker at the zoo did her Masters thesis on Gopher reproduction.
    Says it is definitely a Gopher and that: "Its a wild one too. Wild ones have a jagged beak. Captive ones have a smooth beak."

    And here's a pic of the juv Gopher I care for at work. "Polly" 20180704_161952.jpeg
  14. wccmog10

    wccmog10 Active Member

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    Polly is a good name. We had one named Polly at a nature park where I used to work.

    -Wade
    samkerns1 likes this.
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