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• Off the sandy path, Dave Wegman squats near a small burrow hidden behind scrub. “Careful,” he warns, pointing to the white sand circling the half-moon hole like a skirt. Gopher tortoises lay their eggs under the smooth surface, but it looks like no one’s home today. For several months, Wegman and other environmentalists have led treks through the Split Oak Forest Wildlife and Environmental Area, a nearly 1,700-acre preserve on the outskirts of Orlando’s Lake Nona community. Aside from harboring the threatened gopher tortoise species, Split Oak is home to Florida scrub jays, sandhill cranes, Sherman’s fox squirrels, gopher frogs and bald eagles. No hunting, camping or biking is allowed in Split Oak – only hiking and permitted horse riding. … Read More »