Gopher Tortoise from I-95

Turtle encounters with motor vehicles produce the most frequent source of injured turtles received by the Turtle & Tortoise society.  The images below are of a gopher tortoise, Gopherus  polyphemus, which was picked up off the side of I-95 in South Carolina.  The strike by the motor vehicle ruptured the tortoises left eye, split it's upper and lower jaw, and caused swelling in it's head.  The head trauma affected the tortoises nervous system manifesting itself in reducing the tortoise's ability to see out of it's intact eye.  It appears to be able to distinguish between light and dark areas, a it can always find it's way back to his man made burrow, but does not graze for food.  It has been force fed since it has been picked up.

The tortoise was severely dehydrated and underweight for it's size when first picked up.  This may have been a result of a severe infestation of ticks.  

 It is being cared for by a dedicated turtle care giver.   Click on the images below for a closer look.