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The gopher tortoise derives its name from its habit of digging burrows for shelter. This "keystone species" in the Southeastern United States could be called the homebuilder of the wild world. Gopher tortoise burrows provide shelter for an estimated 360 other animal species.
However, as good as this tortoise is at underground construction, it can't compete with bulldozers and heavy equipment. Over the past two decades, an estimated 100,000 gopher tortoises have been killed due to development, buried underneath strip malls and subdivisions.
In response to this danger, the Humane Society of the United States created a new Wildlife Innovations & Response Team. They work with developers to save threatened gopher tortoises from being trapped underground at construction sites in Florida.
A Gopher Tortoise Rescue:
HSUS is a GreaterGood charity partner. Working together at The Animal Rescue Site, we are protecting the planet, pets, people, and wildlife.