Texas Gopher Tortoise Project (Gopherus berlandieri)

Welcome Comal and Tony, the Texas Gopher Tortoises!

RCI has officially launched its Texas Gopher Tortoise Project with the arrival of Comal and Tony in May 2020, right in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Comal, a juvenile male, is named for Comal County, where he was found by Roy and Cindy Ramirez on their property. Tony, a young adult male, came to us from Buda, TX, where he was found in a family member’s garage by Houston and Melissa McCrary. In both cases, the families did exactly the right thing by notifying Texas Fish and Wildlife. Because the tortoises were outside of their native habitat, they needed to be relocated, and RCI was happy to give them a home.

In summer 2020, RCI expects to receive up to another 15 Texas gopher tortoises who were illegally removed from the wild or were owner surrenders, often by people who did not realize the amount of care required for an animal that needs a large habitat and can live for 60 years. The males will be housed individually to minimize male-male aggression. The females will live in a large communal habitat. The tortoises are going to be observed for their mate choice behavior.

The Habitat