Do You Want to See a Tortoise Movie?

The film takes viewers through a unique process of relocating a colony of gopher tortoises and teaches them why this keystone species is an important part of the south uplands ecosystem.

Advanced Disposal is looking to make a certain colony of gopher tortoises famous in an effort to bring awareness to the federally-protected species. The environmental services company has released its documentary-style film “Relocating the Gopher Tortoise at Turkey Trot Landfill.”

Advanced Disposal was awarded a contract to build a municipal solid waste landfill on a permitted and approved site in Washington County, Ala. During the assessment process, the company and its regulatory partners discovered a colony of gopher tortoises on the 300-acre landfill site.

The film tells the story of how the gopher tortoises were relocated to a preservation owned by South Alabama Utilities just 30 miles away from Turkey Trot Landfill.

It documents the burrow identification processes utilizing GPS technology, two types of capture techniques, medical assessment process and release at the new location.

“When we learned that we would be relocating a colony of gopher tortoises, we decided to capture it on film and utilize it as a fun, engaging educational tool while showing our commitment to the environment,” said Mary O’Brien, chief marketing officer with Advanced Disposal.

The information gained from relocating the tortoises from Turkey Trot Landfill is expected to assist U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in making long term conservation goals to protect the species in perpetuity.

Copies of the DVD are being sent to local schools, environmental and conservation groups, wildlife preservations and youth organizations to help grow an appreciation for the gopher tortoises.

You can also watch the film at

Advanced Disposal is an environmental services company, providing integrated, non-hazardous solid waste collection, transfer, recycling and disposal services in the Southeastern United States.

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Rakesh Raman