World Turtle Day

World Turtle Day is observed next on Friday, May 23rd, 2025 (336 days from today).

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Turtles and tortoises are common images in fables, stories and popular culture, and we celebrate World Turtle Day on May 23rd to honor these resilient animals.

We hear about them in fables about slow and cheerful, steady and methodical, and sometimes obsessed with Ninjitsu, the news reporter and the pizza. Of course, we are talking about Turtles!

Turtles are a type of reptile that exist in many environments around the world and have found their way into literature, poetry, and fables throughout world history. World Turtle Day honors these noble reptiles and their place in the world, and encourages everyone to take action to help protect both the common pet turtle and the once endangered sea turtle.

History of World Turtle Day

It is easy to get confused between tortoise and turtle. The key difference between these two species is that tortoises sometimes live in water, whereas tortoises live only on land. Turtles live to be 40 years old and have streamlined and mostly flat shells. Tortoises, on the other hand, can live up to 300 years, and they have larger, more dome-shaped shells. You will mostly find turtles in the sea, while tortoises live in jungles and grasslands.

Turtles and tortoise are two different animals; however, World Turtle Day is a special day in order to honor and protect both of them. World Turtle Day was firstly celebrated by the American Turtle Rescue in 2002 and it highlights the suffering and declining numbers of these animals due to human intervention and threats environment. Schools, rescue centers and nature lovers will be ready to gather on World Turtle Day to discuss much more knowledge and pledge their allegiance to protect these creatures.

Susan Tellem and Marshall Thompson were the creators of Rescue the American Turtle. They organize charity events and actively work to spread awareness about the endangered status of these shellfish. The pair is known for their humane treatment of all animals, including reptiles. Since its founding in 1990, American Tortoise Rescue has housed more than 4,000 tortoises and turtles. The organization also supports local law enforcement to protect turtles' natural habitat and care for them when they are sick.

Some facts about Turtle

  • The shell of turtle belongs to the skeleton

The shell is the most distinctive part of a turtle and experts say it is made of 50 bones!

  • Turtle is chosen as one of the most illegally trafficked animals

Turtles and turtles are illegally trafficked for their meat, shells and skins - this has led to the extinction of the creatures.

  • There are 300 species of turtles

All species of turtles may look alike to us, but there are actually 300 species - of these, 129 are endangered.

  • Turtles are cold-blooded animals

Turtles are cold-blooded animals with a slow metabolism, as the result, it makes them have a long lifespan.

  • They are one of the oldest creatures found

The first turtles existed 200 million years ago along with the dinosaurs!

Some reasons for World Turtle Day being loved

  • Be socially responsible

We live on a planet with countless different creatures. World Turtle Day is a reminder for us to respect the ecological balance and be loved our animal friends.

  • It promises a better future

World Turtle Day is for a better future that humans and turtles can live in peace together. In other word, protecting them is to protect our own future.

  • A special day for animal lovers

Animal lovers are looking forward to celebrating and do turtle and tortoise conservation. This is a great day to volunteer, raise awareness and donate.

How to celebrate World Turtle Day

Firstly, contact American Tortoise Rescue and find out what you can do in your area to help promote turtle conservation. If there aren't any activities in your area, work with them to find out what you can do to work with local aquariums, pet stores, and nature groups to focus on these areas.

Wherever you are, you can donate online to turtle causes, or even organize your own charity and awareness campaigns to help support your favorite species. You may want to save time rather than money by participating in these events or simply volunteering at your local pet store to help the turtles and their turtles. You don't have to be near a local reserve to help our reptilian friends.

If you want to visit a local habitat, why not book a trip and go safely through your local charity to see how they support and help local wildlife. Globally, there are hundreds of places you can visit to help turtles and turtles with a licensed charity.

If you have your own tortoise or turtle, why not show its appreciation on its own special day? Why not buy your tortoise a new rock for its terrarium or build its own beach if they don't already have one. Why not get their tanks cleaned in early spring to ensure that they are lounging in the best possible environment for them.

Studies show that turtles can respond to the sound of their owner's voice (either because you feed them or they love you, hard to say). Why not treat them to some of their favorite broccoli, or even soak them thoroughly as needed to help them live their best.

If you're not near a turtle or tortoise center, keeping the beaches near you clean is equally important to local wildlife and their ecosystems. Keeping your local sandy summer spot free of plastic bags or water bottles will keep the surrounding land and sea life happy. Don't live near the beach?

Plastic can be dangerous to your local wildlife even in urban environments, and animals from foxes to fish can be contaminated with plastic. Why not take a local recycling or cleanup trip in your local park as a big thank you to our two, four, and legless friends.

They are a wonderful creature, with some making great pets and others helping to preserve the ecology of the waters they inhabit. Of course, if you live where biting turtles haunt the waters, then perhaps everyone should know how to avoid them, where to find them, and how not to lose a toe! Happy World Turtle Day!


World Turtle Day has been observed annually on May 23rd.


Tuesday, May 23rd, 2023

Thursday, May 23rd, 2024

Friday, May 23rd, 2025

Saturday, May 23rd, 2026

Sunday, May 23rd, 2027

Founded by

American Tortoise Rescue in 2000

Also on Friday, May 23rd, 2025

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