I came home lunchtime and he was still there, hanging out in front of some bushes in what we call our pond yard, a non-grassy part of the yard with a little pond near the back door. I let the dogs meet him and he was cool about that. There he is with Marley.
When Mark came home the tortoise was still hanging around, so Mark called a gopher/wildlife person in Jacksonville who said I had done the wrong thing, in fact, the illegal thing. I could not remove a gopher tortoise, only help to the other side of the road. Obviously this person does not know Dale Mabry Highway as I would clearly only have delayed his death slightly had I simply put him in the parking lot that is either side of Dale Mabry. But Mark started working on a list of possible places we could release him close to where he was found.
By the time I got home from work it was a moot point. He'd found his own way out and I hope a safer home. Hard to find now that they have paved almost all of the gopher tortoise's habitat. In fact, developers have a choice when they are building in a gopher habitat -- move the tortoises to another location, or pave over them and pay a fine. What do you think those developers usually choose?
Think about all the buildings we enter every day in Florida that are built over gopher tortoise graveyards.