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Thread: Tortoise Burrow

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
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    3

    Default Tortoise Burrow

    I have a tortoise burrow underneath the concrete slab of my garage. The burrow is two feet wide by 1 ft high by SEVERAL feet long and is curved. As soon as I get the approval to relocate the tortoises,how can I refill the burrow which is very long, curved and would have to be done by hand? Is there anyway to "blow" or "wash" the sand back in so it fills up the huge cavity created by the burrow?? I cannot reach the back of the burrow with the length of a shovel and am not certain exactly how long it is.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
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    980

    Default Re: Tortoise Burrow

    my first concern is that in all states except florida the gopher tortoise is on the endangered species list. and even in florida they don't reccommend moving them. even when dealing with newly hatched young it is much more involved them moving them out to a new patch of ground. I would reccommend you contact the wild life management for your state. and if they do move it, that really should be viewed as a mixed blessing. gopher tortoise are becoming more rare and their habitat is being taken from them at an astonishing rate. so being able to watch one in your own yard should be seen as a blessing.

    their holes are usually around 15 feet deep on average, I really wouldn't worry about getting it fully all the way down into the bottom of the hole but would make sure that I got it down as far as I could and try to pack it especially when you start getting to about the last 4 feet of the hole.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
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    3

    Default Re: Tortoise Burrow

    Thanks for the response. Yes, I have contacted the wildlife commission (Florida) and am awaiting their decision on moving the tortoise. We have several that visit the yard daily (on average 3 - 4 per day). This particular one however has decided to use the sand under the garage as the burrow. Providing the Wildlife Commission approves the relocation I will start to refill. By hand I may never get the dirt back to the end of the burrow, that was my concern. I am concerned about the tortoises as well otherwise I wouldn't have contacted authorities I would have ignorantly covered it up (as most prople seem to do).

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
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    980

    Default Re: Tortoise Burrow

    please don't misunderstand my first post. I understood that you cared and is why I posted back as I did. I was in my own way trying to let you know that the tortoise wasn't posing any real danger to your slab. I also live in florida and we quite often especially in mid summer have occasions to deal with the gopher. around here we have a place called st. francis wildlife refuge which helps out in these areas and can also give good practical advice. you might check and see if you have a similar organization in your area.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
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    3

    Default Re: Tortoise Burrow

    If anyone is still following this post, the wildlife commission has assessed the situation and agreed the tortoise should be moved. We are in the process of doing that properly and with no harm to the tortoise. That still leaves the problem in the first place, how to cover up the hole. Officials estimated it at up to 10 ft deep and 35 ft long. And yes, there is potential damage as the integrity of the slab is starting to be compromised. Without having to spend some serious money, I was hoping that someone could give an idea on how to get the dirt back in to an unusual shaped hole which will have to be done by hand.
    Any suggestions on filling the hole will be appreciated as the tortoise issue was and has been addressed.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    74

    Default Re: Tortoise Burrow

    I'm no expert here, but wouldn't a slurry type mix, pumped potentially by a concrete foundation company, fix this problem. I seem to recall some sort of slurry process that is used for erosion under existing structures.

    Check out the yellow pages or call a few concrete / foundation companies in the area and see if they could recommend a solution.

    If the hole slopes downward, perhaps a runny mud could be mixed and poured into the hole, with gravity pulling it down to the far reaches.

    Just a thought!

    Tim

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Chicago
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    19

    Default Re: Tortoise Burrow

    I seem to recall some sort of slurry process that is used for erosion under existing structures
    I'm not from Florida, not sure what you do down there, but here we'd call it mud jacking - mud is sort of a dirt/concrete grout - can be made of different things to adapt to local needs - I'd guess your slurry is somewhat of the equivalent

    typically mud jacking involves raising something by pumping mud under it or having already raised it, filling in the space - and usually it's needed due to settlement or erosion

    if you're doing it professionally, I'd look for someone familiar with mud jacking or whatever the equivalent term down there would be - it's kind of a delicate operation, not like pouring an open foundation

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    1,722

    Default Re: Tortoise Burrow

    Their is a slurry concrete product called "flowable fill" that sounds similar to the mudjacking previously described. I've had it used to fill abandoned underground vaults so that a foundation could be built above it. The product is pumped in and fills the void & then has structual properties when it hardens.

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