Q: What does a turtle do on World Turtle Day?
A: It shellebrates!
Sorry, I couldn’t resist.
Today-May 23rd- is World Turtle Day. Sponsored by American Tortoise Rescue, the purpose of this day is to raise awareness, and increase knowledge of and respect for, turtles and tortoises. Celebrated every year since 2000, World Turtle Day hopes to inspire positive change, and prompt conservation action.
Want to help? Here are some recommendations from American Tortoise Rescue:
– Never buy a turtle or tortoise from a pet shop as it increases demand from the wild.
– Never remove turtles or tortoises from the wild unless they are sick or injured.
-If a tortoise is crossing a busy highway, pick it up and send it in the same direction it was going – if you try to make it go back, it will turn right around again.
-Write letters to legislators asking them to keep sensitive habitat preserved or closed to off-road vehicles, and to prevent off shore drilling that can lead to endangered sea turtle deaths.
-Report cruelty or illegal sales of turtles and tortoises to your local animal control shelter.
– Report the use of tiny turtles as prizes at carnivals and other events. It’s illegal.
-Report the sale of any turtle or tortoise of any kind less than four inches. This is illegal to buy and sell them throughout the U.S.
If you live or are travelling in sea turtle habitat, keep these things in mind:
–DO NOT THROW GARBAGE ON THE BEACH-EVER! Plastic bags can be mistaken for jellyfish and eaten, and turtles can easily become tangled in fishing nets or plastic packaging.
-If you come across a nesting female, do not disturb her. Keep your distance.
-Consider volunteering or donating to a conservation program.
-Stay clear from marked nests and report unmarked nests to local conservation organizations.
-Keep pets away from nest sites.
-If you own a property on the beach or are staying in one, keep the outdoor lights off during nesting and hatching seasons. The light of the moon guides the hatchlings to the ocean and artificial lighting can confuse them and send them in the wrong direction.
-Teach children to respect animals and the environment.
Any other tips for helping turtles or tortoises that you can think of? Please share!