Category: World Turtle Day

As world turtle day comes to a close, we’d like to thank you for celebrating with us! There’s lots of work to do to make sure we don’t lose these incredible creatures. They’ve survived what the dinosaurs didn’t, let’s not be what causes their demise!

Support plastic reduction when able!  There are various ways you can help fight the war on plastic. It starts at home. Make a pact to stop using single-use plastic. With zero-waste stores on the rise and plastic alternatives becoming more commonplace, it’s not that hard. One way is to give them a reusable shopping bag, straw or travel mug as a gift.  Do this but also remember that those with disabilities are not always able to avoid plastics. Able-bodied friends have to take charge.

Take part in (or organize your own) beach and river cleanups on a regular basis. Make it a fun event for any organization, school, and community group. Get out there and clean their habitat!

Support your local turtle and tortoise rescues any way you can! Here are some listings of rescues by stateHelp the American Tortoise Rescue rebuild their hospital! Read more here

Support action against the illegal wildlife trade and stop poaching! Egg poaching is just one of the many ways the sea turtle population is at risk. In Nicaragua, poachers are taking a more barbaric approach to get what they want. Join over 165,686 people and sign and share the pledge to support efforts to put an end to this horrifying practice.

Encourage adoption or ensuring purchase from reputable breeders. Stop the illegal wildlife trade! Unfortunately, many of the turtles and tortoise found in pet stores are snatched from their homes in the wild and smuggled illegally into western countries to be sold as pets. These animals are smuggled in in the most horrifying conditions, with only half surviving being hidden in suitcases/piled in boxes/ and worse. This practice only continues because the demand is there. Adopt don’t buy! 

Share the importance of keeping wildlife wild, encourage proper research and care for those considering adopting a turtle or tortoise. Our shell friends are all too often whim purchases that end with their abandonment in already full rescues or death from incorrect care. 

Check out our video Buy Toys, Not Turtles and remind fellow shell lovers to RESEARCH FIRST! It’s a matter of survival! 

We are sending lots of treats and head skritches to all our shell friends on this special day. We promise to live EVERY DAY like its #WorldTurtleDay. Zoya does, you can too! 

It’s World Turtle Day! Here Are Five Fascinating Facts about These Amazing Animals | The Weather Channel:

Check out this great article from the weather channel and learn something you didn’t know about turtles and tortoise. Think you know all there is to know? We’d bet you don’t! 

“From being the first vertebrates to reach the moon to saving the world, one natural habitat at a time, the humble turtle has a rich history as well as a critical role to play in the present. On World Turtle Day, we list some myths and facts that everyone should know about these marvelous creatures.”


Started by the American Tortoise Rescue, #worldturtleday aims to raise awareness and inspire action on behalf of the turtles and tortoises everywhere! Turtles and tortoises as the worlds most threatened vertebrates. Loss of habitat, pollution, and poaching continue to threaten their existence on our planet. A world without turtles and tortoises? That’s no place I want to be.

American Tortoise Rescue has a few tips on how you can help keep them around for generations to come!

  • NEVER BUY a turtle or tortoise from a pet shop as it increases demand from the wild.
  • REPORT THE SALE of any turtle or tortoise of any kind less than four inches. This is illegal throughout the U.S.
  • REPORT THE CRUELTY or illegal sales of turtles and tortoises to your local animal control shelter.
  • NEVER REMOVE turtles or tortoises from the wild unless they are sick or injured.
  • WRITE LETTER to legislators asking them to keep sensitive habitat preserved or closed to off-road vehicles, and to prevent offshore drilling that can lead to more endangered sea turtle deaths.
  • EMERGENCY CARE If a tortoise is crossing a busy street, 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.

Happy World Turtle Day!

Time for our annual shellebratory tradition:  A tortle tower of awesomeness!  This year’s tower is extra shiny and comes with secret space for nom storage!


Still no noms in front of me, Mom!


I have a double chin?  Clearly I don’t get enough noms—a proper tortie should have at least three chins!  Obviously!

Happy @WorldTurtleDay ! Time to spread love and awareness on behalf of our shell friends and do our part to keep them around for generations to come!

There are so many reasons to #shellebrate #worldturtleday today! Here’s my biggest one ❤️❤️❤️




According to Robert Pattinson, not all animals can be as cute as Robert Pattinson. But all species, cute or not, deserve to be protected, so he’s joining the search! You can too at of Robert Pattinson and his new friend, a yellow-blotched map turtle

Shot for @global_wildlife_conservationand @turtleconservancy


I found this little friend while mowing the lawn. Finished mowing then put friend back.

YAY!! What a gorgeous little one to grace your lawn!  Way to put it back so it can bless you with more shell baby encounters years from now. Just another reason to #SHELLEBRATE #WorldTurtleDay!! 

American Tortoise Rescue “Shellebrates”
World Turtle Day® on May 23, 2018 | World Turtle Day® | Home

#Shellebrate and protect turtles and tortoises and their disappearing habitats on #WorldTurtleDay
#shellebrate #worldturtleday

(Via WorldTurtleDay.Com)

ATR launched World Turtle Day to increase respect and knowledge for the world’s oldest creatures. These gentle animals have been around for 200 million years, yet they are rapidly disappearing as a result of smuggling, the exotic food industry, habitat destruction, global warming and the cruel pet trade. It is a very sad time for turtles and tortoises of the world.

Biologists and other experts predict the disappearance of turtles and tortoises within the next 50 years. Adults and children can do a few small things that can help save turtles and tortoises for future generations

  • 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 (but be safe yourself!).
  • 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 tiny turtles less than four inches sold at pet stores and street vendors or used as prizes at carnivals and other events. Their sale has been illegal since 1974.

ATR’s ultimate goal is to stop the illegal trade in turtles and tortoises around the world. The first priority here in the U.S. is to ask pet stores and reptile shows to stop the sale of hatchling tortoises and turtles without proper information for the buyer. For example, many people buy sulcata tortoises as an impulse buy because they are so adorable when they are tiny. The breeders and pet stores frequently do not tell the buyers that this tortoise can grow to 100 pounds or more and needs constant heat throughout the year since they do not hibernate.

Follow @WorldTurtleDay on Twitter where last year it trended at the top when thousands of people tweeted #worldturtleday to spread the good word about turtles.

About Us

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 and the cruel importation and exploitation of a variety of species.


Let’s catch up on turtle science! Here are some studies from our researchers:  

Share your favorite turtle studies, stories and facts!