How to save turtles and tortoises is the looming question as the world celebrates World Turtle Day today - May 23. Experts predict the disappearance of turtles and tortoises within the next 50 years. Hence, there is an urgent need to conserve this water animal and save them from illegal trade around the world. Here’s how you can do your bit to save turtles and tortoises.
Small things can make a whole lot of difference and bring about a much-needed change. Adults and children, both can do a few small things that can help save turtles and tortoises for future generations. Here are some few tips given by the American Tortoise Rescue, a non-profit organisation.
How to save turtles and tortoises in the world
1. Never buy a turtle or tortoise from a pet shop as it increases demand from the wild.
2. Never remove turtles or tortoises from the wild unless they are sick or injured.
3. 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!).
4. Write letters to legislators asking them to keep sensitive habitat preserved or closed to off-road vehicles and to prevent offshore drilling that can lead to endangered sea turtle deaths.
5. Report cruelty or illegal sales of turtles and tortoises to your local animal control shelter.
6. 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.
Lesser known facts about tortoise:
1. Tortoise can grow to 100 pounds or more and needs constant heat throughout the year since they do not hibernate.
2. Wash hands properly every time you touch a turtle or its water as there is a risk of contracting salmonella from water turtles
Facts about World Turtle Day - May 23
1. World Turtle Day was founded by the American Tortoise Rescue
2. World Turtle Day is observed and celebrated “to bring attention to, and increase knowledge of and respect for, turtles and tortoises, and encourage human action to help them survive and thrive”.
Fascinating facts about Indian Turtle (aquafind.com)
1. Indian turtle, along with tortoise and terrapin, belongs to the Testudines order of reptiles and the Chelonia crown group.
2. The body of a turtle is covered with special bony or cartilaginous shell, which is developed from its ribs.
3. One of the oldest reptile groups, the turtle of India was in existence even before lizards and snakes.
4. Some of the species of the Indian turtles have become extinct, while a number of others have become highly endangered.
5. Turtles are cold-blooded creatures i.e., their body temperature changes with their surroundings.
6. The size of an Indian turtle tends to vary a lot, with marine turtles being bigger than land and freshwater.