Like every year, this year too, 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.
Turtles are said to be fascinating creatures that date back to the time of the dinosaurs, which is over 200 million years ago. There are a total of 300 species of turtles around the world, out of which nearly 129 species are said to be endangered.
Reports also suggest that these animals belong to one of the oldest reptile groups across the globe. Interestingly, this makes turtles significantly older than alligators, snakes, and crocodiles.
The theme for World Turtle Day 2022 is - 'Shellebrate!' Asks Everyone to Love and Save Turtles.
History and significance:
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.
How the day is celebrated:
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.
- We live in a culture full of hares; but the tortoise always wins - Dave Ramsey (Finance personality and radio show host)
- Take a walk with a turtle. And behold the world in pause - Bruce Feiler (American writer and TV personality)
- Try to be like the turtle at ease in your own shell - Bill Copeland (American poet, writer, and historian)
- Remember, slow and steady wins the race - Ieyasu Tokugawa (Founder of the Tokugawa Shogunate of Japan)