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World Turtle Day

May 22, 2011

May 23 is World Turtle Day. And who doesn’t love turtles? Find out more about this holiday and what you can do to celebrate!

Turtles in May

The month of May is actually very busy for most turtles, which makes it the perfect time to celebrate these cute reptiles. Many turtles are emerging from their winter hibernation this time of year and starting their search for a mate and a place to nest and lay their eggs

Turtles in Danger

There are many reasons that turtles in the wild are in danger. For example, did you know that turtles are the reptile that’s most affected by the pet trade, as well as by the food and medicine industries? People come up with all sorts of reasons and excuses to hunt and kill turtles – we don’t think any of them are very good ones. Sure, it’s nice to have your own pet – but isn’t it nicer to see an animal in its natural habitat, living its life the way it was meant to, just like you’re doing?

How to Help

World Turtle Day began in 2000 by the American Tortoise Rescue organization. This group brings attention to turtle conservation and highlights ways each of us can help protect these gentle but endangered creatures. Here are some of the things you can do to help:

  • Don’t litter: Pollution and garbage you throw on the ground makes its way into many different bodies of water and wild areas where turtles live, poisoning their homes and habitats. Garbage, like plastic bags, kills many pond and sea turtles who either ingest it or become tangled in it.
  • Stop turtle exploitation: Never, ever agree to participate in or go to a turtle race. These events involve taking turtles out of their natural habitats and exposing them to tons of danger and stress.
  • Give turtles a brake: If you see a turtle or tortoise crossing the road, gently pick him up and carry him across in the direction he was headed. If the turtle is a large one or a snapping turtle, use a stick to GENTLY nudge him across the road without getting too close. Make sure you watch for cars and get them to stop until both you and the turtle are safe.
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Which Wacky Turtle Fact Is True?

  • The world's largest turtles don't have shells.
  • Leatherback turtles can race as fast as 35 km/h (22 m/h).
  • Giant tortoises can live to be over 170 years old!
  • All of the above.

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