World Turtle Day takes place annually on 23 May. Tortoises and Turtles comprise some of the most amazing and endangered reptiles on the planet, so World Turtle Day was set up to increase respect and knowledge of Turtles and Tortoises and to encourage human action to help them survive and thrive. Turtle Day Is sponsored by American Tortoise Rescue, and celebrated worldwide in a variety of ways, from dressing up as turtles or wearing green summer dresses, to saving turtles caught on highways, and research activities. Turtle Day lesson plans and craft projects encourage teaching about turtles in classrooms.
American Tortoise Rescue (ATR) was founded in 1990, by Susan Tellem and Marshall Thompson, and is certified by state and federal agencies as a nonprofit corporation to provide for the protection of all species of tortoise and turtle, including Foundlings that cannot be adopted because of ill health, which remain in the care of American Tortoise Rescue for the remainder of their lives. The American Tortoise Rescue also advocate humane treatment of all animals, including reptiles.
The day is featured in Chase’s Book of Annual Events, and was created as an annual observance to help people celebrate and protect turtles and tortoises and their disappearing habitats around the world. 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. Armed with knowledge and passion for these gentle animals, we can come together to preserve Turtle and Tortoise species throughout the world.