brown turtle

Turtles stand as a symbol of hope; celebrate them!

Every trash discarded contributes to the death of millions of turtles. These creatures date back to ages before the dinosaur era! There are a total of 300 species, out of which, only 129 remain breathing.

We began to “shellabrate” World Turtle Day in 2000 which was initiated by Susan Tellem and Marshall Thompson with a sponsor from American Tortoise Rescue(an NGO). Together, they have rescued and rehomed millions of turtles. This initiative intended to spread awareness about the need to protect tortoises, turtles and their increasingly dwindling habitats.

Susan and Marshall spent 10 years on organising fundraising events, ceaselessly spreading awareness about the strenuous lives of turtles. This year, we celebrate the 23rd Internation World Turtle Day. Turtles themselves stand as a symbol of hope and the efforts are standing tall with the help of compassionate efforts from ATR. Today, the entire global community holds hands and comes together to conserve the diminishing population of turtles. Vendors and poachers and pet shop owners sell turtles and ornaments made from them which results in the exploitation of the entire population. Over the years, many sanctuaries and NGOs have emerged in the hope of saving the lives of the beloved creature.

This year, the theme of WTD is “I love turtles”. It aims to spread awareness and the need for the turtles to be saved. With an abundance of affection and compassion people from across the globe have run drives to save turtles. The theme is specially for Mr. Mudd.

“We want to have fun with World Turtle Day and make it appealing to all ages,” Tellem said. “This year’s ‘I Love Turtles’ theme features handsome turtle Mr. Mudd (featured) and encourages our worldwide audience to see turtles as amazing creatures who outlived the dinosaurs just to make us laugh and love them as much as people do with warm and fuzzy cats and dogs. They are more than just rocks with legs!”

Tellem also mentions that these little creatures showcase a great sense of humour, affection and happiness!

They are rapidly decreasing due to smuggling, trade, habitat destruction and food markets. These creatures play an important role in their respective ecosystems. They dig holes that are inhabited by other creatures and keep our beaches clean by feeding on dead fish that wash up on the shores. They maintain an ecological balance and, therefore, it’s important to conserve these gentle animals. They deserve to live in the wild.

Featured Image: Zdeněk Macháček on Unsplash

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