We have had a gopher tortoise in our family for 57 years. They are extremely rare here. My parents bought her when they were first married, I think for the equivalent of more than a weeks wages. She was estimated to be about 12 years old at the time. A neighbour owned a pet shop and imported some from the US, when it was still legal. She has been a constant in our lives ever since. Famous for being the cause of a car accident after my mother forgot about her on the front lawn and she went for a wander across the road. Rocks don't usually move in New Zealand. A couple of weeks ago she had a hemorrhage due to an infection but after two surgeries cutting through her shell, seems to be recovering well, on morphine for another week and will be on antibiotics for 6 months. She has now started hissing at my sister who is responsible for the 3 injections a day, Can't blame her for that but upsetting for my sister. As you can imagine its all costing a small fortune but after all these years she owes us nothing and after the distress her simply being unwell caused us all, losing her is unthinkable.