Locals at Lighthouse field in Santa Cruz take the time to say hi to Joe the gopher.

Living in Santa Cruz you probably have Gophers in your yard. We learned long ago that if you want to have a garden, roses, or even certain types of trees you will have to bury chicken wire in the ground below where you are going to plant first.

This guy looks like he has learned how to co exist quite nicely though! Anyone who has spent any time on the grass at the lighthouse on the West Side, whether kicking a soccer ball or eating lunch, you know that there are a LOT of gophers in the area. Even though it is a really simple video, I am kinda stoked to see this guy getting time on YouTube.

This looks like a California, or Botta’s Pocket Gopher.

From Wikepedia:

At least 185 subspecies have been described for this animal, mostly on the basis of geographical distribution.

This species is considered a pest in urban and agricultural areas due to its burrowing habit and its predilection for alfalfa; however, it is also considered beneficial as its burrows are a key source of aeration for soils in the region.

Both the specific and common names of this species honor Paul-Émile Botta, a naturalist and archaeologist who collected mammals in California in the 1820s and 1830s.

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