By Christin Ayers

FREMONT (CBS SF) — Gopher holes are likely responsible for an injury that hospitalized a Fremont girl for three days.

Hundreds of gopher holes litter the school football field at Thornton Middle School in Fremont where Maleah Acosta plays sports.  It’s also where Maleah Maleah broke her leg so badly that she had to have a titanium rod put in her leg for the rest of her life.

“Her bone was completely split in half,” Maleah’s mom Chrystina said.

Maleah’s friend Megan was down the field when the injury happened.

“All I could hear from behind me was a snap.  It looked like a broken twig,” Megan said.

Maleah had to be hospitalized for three days following the fall.  Her mother says she likely won’t play sports again.

Gopher control experts say the gophers are popping up more often because of the drought.  The gophers burrow for food and water in moisture rich areas.  With no rain, and limits on lawn watering, specialist Bridget Carls says “they’re going to the few places that do water, including school fields.”

Fremont Unified School District says they will have a risk manager look at the field.

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