From the World Turtle Day website: American Tortoise Rescue, a nonprofit organization established in 1990 for the protection of all species of tortoise and turtle, is sponsoring its 19th annual World Turtle Day® on May 23. The day was created as an annual observance to help people celebrate and protect turtles and tortoises and their disappearing habitats around the world.
“Our theme this year is Adopt, Don’t Shop,” Tellem said. “There are rescues throughout the globe that help place turtles and tortoises into forever homes, most at no cost. (See partial list here: http://www.tortoise.com/turtle-rescue-centers-in-usa.html).” She added, “You can help by not purchasing a turtle from a pet store, online or at a swap meet. Sadly, most of these animals are taken illegally out of the wild or are victims of international smuggling.” Tellem also suggests reporting tiny turtles less than four inches sold at pet stores, by street vendors or used as prizes at carnivals and other events to government wildlife agencies. Their sale has been illegal since 1974. Most die after purchase years before they should.
American Tortoise Rescue is a nonprofit founded in 1990 for the protection of all species of turtles and tortoises. We have rescued more than 4,000 since inception. Foundlings that cannot be adopted because of ill health remain in the care of ATR for the remainder of their lives. ATR acts as a clearinghouse for information about turtle care. We work to abolish “live market” slaughter of turtles in the US, the sale of reptiles on sites like craigslist.com and the cruel importation and exploitation of a variety of species.
Many species of turtles and tortoises from all over the world are endangered and their natural habitats are disappearing year after year. The campaign was started to bring awareness to the dire condition many of these species are in, as well as to bring awareness to the illegal smuggling and sale of these animals throughout the world.