World Turtle Day: How To Celebrate, Conserve, And Rescue Turtles And Tortoises

Today is May 23, and that means it’s time for the annual celebration of World Turtle Day. Sponsored by the American Tortoise Rescue, World Turtle Day serves as a time to create awareness for all species of tortoises and turtles to ensure their well-being and longevity. World Turtle Day is a registered trademark, and the day has been effective since 2000.

The American Tortoise Rescue described World Turtle Day on their website with the following description.

“American Tortoise Rescue, a nonprofit organization established in 1990 for the protection of all species of tortoise and turtle, is sponsoring its 16th annual World Turtle Day on May 23. The day was created as an annual observance to help people celebrate and protect turtles and tortoises and their disappearing habitats around the world.

“Susan Tellem and Marshall Thompson, founders of ATR, advocate humane treatment of all animals, including reptiles. Since 1990, ATR has placed about 3,000 tortoises and turtles in caring homes. ATR assists law enforcement when undersize or endangered turtles are confiscated and provides helpful information and referrals to persons with sick, neglected or abandoned turtles.”

People celebrate World Turtle Day around the globe through various means and methods. Some create awareness by promoting turtles and tortoises through social media networks. Others choose to celebrate by wearing turtle-themed clothing such as T-shirts or hats and by teaching children about tortoises and turtles. Some may choose this time to donate to charities, rescue groups, and organizations that specialize in tortoise and turtle care and conservation.

In addition to wearing T-shirts or hats that promote turtle awareness, some choose to dress up in costumes on World Turtle Day in order to celebrate turtles and tortoises.

Disney Pixar got into the action on Twitter by sharing a recipe for “Squirt Happy Turtlecakes,” which are perfect cupcakes for World Turtle Day.

The American Tortoise Rescue has an array of activities planned for World Turtle Day. First, they are promoting turtles and tortoises with the social media hashtags #WorldTurtleDay and #Shellebrate. They have a “mobile loyalty club” for members who can participate in events, sign up for contests, and win prizes. American Tortoise Rescue is online at Facebook and Twitter and those who text the word “turtles” (without quotes) to 51555 will join the club and have a chance at winning prizes.

According to the American Tortoise Rescue, consumers should never purchase turtles or tortoises from pet shops. Doing so promotes an industry that increases demand and results in more turtles and tortoises being captured and removed from the wild. In fact, you should never take turtles or tortoises out of the wild then try to re-home them as pets. If you see a turtle or tortoise in the road, you may choose to help them cross a street safely, but never remove them from the area. The only time you should remove a turtle or tortoise is if the animal is injured, hurt, or sick. When helping tortoises cross a street, make certain you move them in the same direction. Otherwise, they will try to cross the street to travel in the same direction again.

Are you going to celebrate World Turtle Day? You can find more tips, resources, and ways to help conserve turtles and tortoises at the official World Turtle Day website.

[Image via Willyam Bradberry/Shutterstock]