World Turtle Day – May 23
They look adorable slowly making their way across a wide stretch of sand. They are fascinating to watch with their beautiful shells, slow blinking eyes and curved feet. These magnificent creatures with portable homes are one of the oldest reptile groups and more ancient than lizards, snakes and crocodiles. The earliest known turtles date from 215 million years ago.
Some of the turtle species are highly endangered which is why a Turtle Day was established to be observed each year. Established in 1990, the World Turtle Day is celebrated each year on May 23 to focus attention on protecting these lovely creatures from poaching and disappearing habitats. This day was selected as Turtle Day by the American Tortoise Rescue (ATR), a nonprofit organization that aims to protect all species of tortoise and turtle.
Not many people are aware of the value and grandeur of these aquatic creatures. This day is also to increase the knowledge of turtles among people, to promote respect for them and to encourage people to help them survive.
Mango Books have brought out two endearing turtle stories that show how wonderful and delightful these creatures are. Turtle Tales by Vinitha Ramchandani is the wonderful tale of a little girl befriending a baby turtle.
Little Priyanka lives with her grandmother in a large house that has a lot of sad memories. The old woman is always angry with the little girl and Priyanka always feels misunderstood. But one day Priyanka finds a friend: a turtle who gives her all the love she has been craving for. But things suddenly take an unexpected turn leaving her to make a tough decision. Published under the Kerala Mystique series, Turtle Tales is a moving tale of a child’s love for an animal and its amazing capacity to return that love in the most remarkable way.
The Turtle Who Felt Boxed In is a charming tale of little Shelby the turtle who hated his shell. Encased in hard enamel from his toes to chin, Shelby believes that his shell is bringing him down! So he takes off his plating and goes on an adventure, narrowly escaping danger at every turn! In the end, he learns that in life, sometimes things are there for a reason! Published under the Animal Opposites series this amusing tale is written by acclaimed children’s author Taylor Brandon.
You can buy these books from any book store or purchase copies online.
There are numerous ways to celebrate Turtles Day, check out websites and learn how you can do your bit to save turtles, study more about the origin of turtles, their habitats and the threats faced by them. Don’t buy a turtle or tortoise from a pet shop as it increases demand to capture them from the wild. Report cruelty or illegal sales of turtles and tortoises to your local animal control shelter. If you already have a pet tortoise or turtle then it should be kept outdoors on moist soil with lots of shady plants and shrubs. Make sure that you build a pond for your pet by fixing a large mud vessel in the soil for the tortoise to swim in.
Here are some free downloadable Turtle Day posters from Mango.
Happy Turtle Day!