Dozens of young gopher tortoises are hatching in south Georgia, breathing new life into the group's survival.
One year ago, officials at Reed Bingham State Park began a process to transform the land into a suitable habitat for the endangered gopher tortoises. The work is paying off, now that dozens of the turtles are now hatching at the park.
Susan Wing, a volunteer, says, "It's delightful because they're beautiful little creatures, and just think, they will all be going back to the wild with a chance to survive its great. A lot of people have never seen a gopher tortoise before and we take it for granted."
Park officials will not be taking these tortoises for granted though, because they will be carefully monitored even after they are reintroduced into the wild.
Park officials say this program will help meet two important goals when trying to improve and maintain a great habitat at Reed Bingham State Park.
Chet Powell, park ranger, says, "The important thing about this whole project is that it’s essentially two projects. It's working to preserve the gopher tortoises and make sure the eggs hatch and then it’s meant maintain the habitat we have and even re-establish some habitat."
With such early success, park officials and volunteers are hopeful these little animals can have a bright, safe future in our region. You can help make a difference by volunteering your time at Reed Bingham State Park.