Gopher tortoises

Don’t Release Gopher Tortoises into the Ocean

Some people in Florida who think they’re helping gopher tortoises by releasing them into the ocean are actually causing them more harm. Last week, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission released a statement noting that gopher tortoises — a state threatened species — live on land, cannot swim well and, as a result, could drown. The announcement comes on the heels of three reports of “well-intentioned good Samaritans incorrectly releasing gopher tortoise hatchlings into the ocean.” Gopher tortoises’ nests in sand dunes might have been mistaken for sea turtles nests because of their close proximity to one another. FWC urges individuals to learn about wildlife before trying to help out.

Read more about it in The National Monitor.

Header Image: Don’t Release Gopher Tortoises into the Ocean