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World Turtle Day – May 23

sea 2361247 1920 I Love Veterinary - Blog for Veterinarians, Vet Techs, StudentsSince the year 2000, May 23rd has become World Turtle Day and it is reserved for celebrating turtles and tortoises all around the world. This holiday was invented and sponsored by the American Tortoise Rescue with the sole purpose to educate people and to encourage them to take action to help to save these amazing species.

The American Tortoise Rescue was founded in 1990. The organization is certified to provide protection for all species of turtles and tortoises. They provide rescue and care for all foundlings, and for those that cannot be found forever home remain in their shelters.

Quick tips from the American Tortoise Rescue:

tortoise 3411405 1920 I Love Veterinary - Blog for Veterinarians, Vet Techs, Students

  • never buy a turtle or tortoise from a pet shop. This increases their demand from the wild.
  • never take and remove turtles or tortoises from the wild unless they’re injured and you plan to take them to a wildlife vet.
  • if you find a tortoise trying to cross the street and you want to help, pick it up and move in the direction it was headed. If you take it back it will try to cross the street again.
  • selling a turtle or tortoise smaller than 4 inches is illegal in the US. If you know someone that is selling report them.
  • if you have knowledge of illegal sales or animal cruelty towards turtles and tortoises report them to your local animal control office.


turtle 3035416 1920 I Love Veterinary - Blog for Veterinarians, Vet Techs, Students Interesting facts about turtles:

  • there are more than 300 turtle species in the world, of which 7 are sea turtles.
  • even though sea turtles live in the water, they still need to go to the surface to breathe air. Anyway, they can stay underwater for up to 2 hours.
  • the oldest animal on the planet is a tortoise named Jonathan. He is a Giant tortoise from Seychelles and he is at least 185 years old.
  • the largest turtle species is the Leatherback sea turtle, and it’s on the endangered species list.
  • pet turtles can transmit Salmonella to people.
  • male sea turtles stay in the ocean all their lives. Only the females go to land to lay the eggs.


Be part of the celebration of World Turtle Day this year on social media. Visit the hashtags #WorldTurtleDay and #ILoveVeterinary and see how other people celebrate it.

Happy World Turtle Day!


  • This article was originally published on May 23, 2018.
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