Turtles are said to be fascinating creatures that date back to the time of the dinosaurs, which is over 200 million years ago. Turtles are one of the world’s oldest reptile groups, dating back much further than snakes, crocodiles, and alligators. These organisms predate dinosaurs, having evolved 250 million years earlier. Apparently, there are 300 kinds of turtles in the world, with 129 of them being endangered. To spread information about these animals and encourage people to work to protect them, every year, World Turtle Day is being celebrated today, 23 May globally.
It is a day to raise awareness about helping turtles survive and thrive in their natural habitat. The main objective behind this day is to also educate people about the things to do to protect the habitats of turtles as well as tortoises. People are reminded on this day how important it is to help turtles live and grow in their natural habitat. The theme for World Turtle Day 2022 is – ‘Shellebrate!’ Asks Everyone to Love and Save Turtles.
This special day was founded by the American Tortoise Rescue (ATR), a non-profit organisation, in the year 1990. The ATR was established by a husband and wife duo, Susan Tellem and Marshall Thompson. In this organisation, they rescue and rehabilitate all species of tortoise and turtle, who are vulnerable, endangered, or critically endangered. Since its establishment, ATR has taken care of about 4,000 tortoises and turtles in care homes. They also help in providing information to people with sick, neglected, or abandoned turtles. On this day, groups and communities attached to the organisation come together to celebrate World Turtle Day. They organise several events and activities for the preservation of animals.