1. Welcome! Are you interested in tortoises? If so, we invite you to join our community! Our community is the #1 place for tortoise keepers to talk online. Once you join you'll be able to post messages, upload pictures of your tortoise and enclosure, and discuss any tortoise topic with other tortoise keepers. Get started today!

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 New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2018
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    1
    Location:
    Florida
    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

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2018
    Messages:
    484
    Likes Received:
    454
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    Louisiana
    (These ads do not appear for registered members.)
    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

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2018
    Messages:
    484
    Likes Received:
    454
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    Louisiana
  4. wellington

    wellington Well-Known Member Moderator 5 Year Member

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2011
    Messages:
    35,753
    Likes Received:
    11,926
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Chicago, Illinois, USA
    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.
    darlingtiffy likes this.
  5. Yvonne G

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

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2008
    Messages:
    74,351
    Likes Received:
    36,421
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Clovis, CA
    Deffinetly NOT a sulcata, but seems awfully yellow for a gopher.

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

    Tom The Dog Trainer 5 Year Member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2010
    Messages:
    42,033
    Likes Received:
    19,748
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Southern California
    Not a sulcata.
    darlingtiffy likes this.
  7. Markw84

    Markw84 Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2012
    Messages:
    2,621
    Likes Received:
    3,614
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Sacramento, CA (Central Valley)
    Yes, that is indeed a young gopher tortoise, Gopherus polyphemus - native to your area.
    darlingtiffy likes this.
  8. darlingtiffy

    darlingtiffy New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2018
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    1
    Location:
    Florida
    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

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2018
    Messages:
    484
    Likes Received:
    454
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    Louisiana
    Call wildlife and fisheries and get them to come check for you. They’ll know what to do.
  10. Toddrickfl1

    Toddrickfl1 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2018
    Messages:
    1,255
    Likes Received:
    2,480
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Ga
    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 Member

    Joined:
    May 6, 2018
    Messages:
    25
    Likes Received:
    25
    Trophy Points:
    13
    Location:
    Georgia
    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

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2017
    Messages:
    100
    Likes Received:
    74
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Location:
    Viet Nam
    Definitely not a sulcata

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

    samkerns1 Member

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2018
    Messages:
    20
    Likes Received:
    28
    Trophy Points:
    13
    Location:
    Southwest Georgia
    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 Member

    Joined:
    May 6, 2018
    Messages:
    25
    Likes Received:
    25
    Trophy Points:
    13
    Location:
    Georgia
    Polly is a good name. We had one named Polly at a nature park where I used to work.

    -Wade
    samkerns1 likes this.
Similar Threads: Given baby
Forum Title Date
North American Tortoises (genus Gopherus) Texas Tortoise-given to me; wish to re-release May 5, 2018
North American Tortoises (genus Gopherus) I am baby sitting a CDT hatchling - it won't eat, sleeps all day, and has mucus Jan 5, 2017
North American Tortoises (genus Gopherus) Baby Gopher Tortoise Oct 10, 2016
North American Tortoises (genus Gopherus) Baby Nevada Desert Tortoise Advice? Jun 9, 2016
North American Tortoises (genus Gopherus) Video- CDT Baby Eating Mar 4, 2016

Share This Page