Have you ever seen a turtle in person? They’re amazing creatures. Unfortunately, they’re also endangered. In fact more than 50% of turtle and tortoise species are considered threatened. World Turtle Day is a day to celebrate this fantastic animal and help spread the word. It’s a day for environmental activists, animal lovers, and eco-conscious folks around the world to unite.
What is World Turtle Day?
World Turtle Day actually began in 2000 and was initiated by The American Tortoise Rescue. In 2012 it is celebrated on May 23rd. “World Turtle Day was started 12 years ago to increase respect and knowledge for the world’s oldest creatures. These gentle animals have been around for about 200 million years, yet they are rapidly disappearing as a result of the exotic food industry, habitat destruction and the cruel pet trade,” says co-founder of ATR, Susan Tellem.
According to Earthtimes.org, 250,000 marine turtles drown in fishing lines and nets every year. The month of May was chosen because it’s a very active month in the life of many turtles. According to the Humane Society of the United States, “despite the numerous threats to their survival, May is a busy month for turtles. Many have recently emerged from winter hibernation and are beginning their search for mates and nesting areas.”
This makes May a critical month for their survival. Turtles are often taken from the wild as pets or food before they can reproduce. The loss of a few adults can drastically affect the population of this unique creature.
Spread The Green – Tips & Ideas To Celebrate World Turtle Day
1. Don’t buy turtles from pet stores. It increases demand. If you want a pet turtle, visit your local humane society and adopt one.
2. Don’t take a turtle or tortoise from the wild.
3. Help a turtle cross the street. Always take them in the direction where they’re going. If you return them to the place they came from, they’ll just start their journey over.
4. Get involved in protecting turtles. Help keep the protected areas safe for turtles.
5. Report offenders. If you know anyone who illegally sells turtles, report them.
6. Like the World Turtle Day Facebook Page – http://www.facebook.com/WorldTurtleDay.
7. Share World Turtle Day on your Facebook and/or Twitter Page.
Finally, consider donating your time or money to the American Humane Society or the American Tortoise Rescue. By doing a little bit to boost environmental awareness and concern for our eco-system, you can help all creatures survive and thrive on our planet. You can learn more about World Turtle Day and how these ancient creatures, more than 200 million years old, play an important role in our environment. Visit HumaneSociety.org and tortoise.com to get involved.