The gopher tortoise earned its name because it digs deep burrows—like a gopher. This large tortoise, which can weigh up to 15 pounds, has scaly, shovel-like front legs that are specialized for digging. It lives in the southeastern United States and is the only land tortoise native to the area. It became the official state tortoise of Florida in 2008. The gopher tortoise is a keystone species, meaning that it’s very important to the health of the ecosystem it inhabits. Gopher tortoise burrows provide shelter to hundreds of different animals, ranging from frogs to owls and even endangered indigo snakes.
This tortoise is found from Louisiana to South Carolina, but it's mainly concentrated in Florida. Though