World Turtle Day 2023: Date, History, Ways To Celebrate, Myths, and Facts

World Turtle Day 2023 is on May 23rd 2023. This is the day to raise awareness about protecting turtles and their habitats. Turtles are one of the oldest reptile groups in the world. They have been around for over 200 million years.

There are over 300 different species of turtles in the world, and many of them are endangered due to habitat loss, pollution, and hunting. Turtles play an important role in the ecosystem as they help maintain the balance of aquatic and terrestrial environments. They are also important cultural symbols in many cultures around the world.

On World Turtle Day, people are encouraged to learn more about turtles and take action to protect them. This includes supporting conservation efforts, reducing pollution, and avoiding purchases of turtle products.

World Turtle Day 2023 Date

Every Year, World Turtle Day is observed on May 23. Established in the year 2000, this day is sponsored by American Tortoise Rescue (ATR).  ATR is an animal rescue organization working for the adoption, rehabilitation, and protection of all tortoise and turtle species. 

The term “World Turtle Day” is trademarked by Susan Tellem. Susan is the co-founder of American Tortoise Rescue. This year, World Turtle Day will fall on Tuesday, May 23rd. 

2023TuesdayMay 23
2024Thursday May 23
2025FridayMay 23
2026SaturdayMay 23
2027SundayMay 23

History of World Turtle Day 

In 1990, the American Tortoise Rescue (ATR) organization was established by Susan Tellem and Marshall Thompson. It was the first and only sanctuary for Turtles and tortoises in the United States at that time. The couple started by devoting their free time to rescue turtles after adopting two captive-bred desert tortoise hatchlings. 

Check: Special days May

Gradually, ATR expanded as people around the world came to know about them. World Turtle Day was founded in 2000 by ATR to spread awareness about the importance of protecting these ancient and fascinating creatures. About 4,000 tortoises and turtles have been placed in shelter homes by ATR.  

Since its inception, World Turtle Day has grown in popularity and has become an important event for conservationists and animal lovers. 

Best Ways to Celebrate World Turtle Day

There are many ways to celebrate this day and show your support for these amazing creatures.

  1. Beach Cleaning – One way to celebrate World Turtle Day is to participate in a beach clean-up. Turtles often mistake plastic bags and other debris for food, which can lead to serious health problems or even death. By cleaning up beaches and other areas where turtles live, we can help protect them from harmful pollution.
  2. Support turtle conservation organizations – These groups work to protect turtle habitats, conduct research, and educate the public about the importance of turtle conservation. By donating to these organizations or volunteering your time, you can help make a difference in the lives of turtles around the world.
  3. Learn more about Turtles – You can also observe this day by learning more about tortoises and turtles. You can read books or watch documentaries about these amazing animals, or attend educational events at your local zoo/ aquarium. By learning more about turtles and their habitats, you can become a better advocate for their protection and conservation.
  4. Spread awareness: Share information about World Turtle Day on social media or with your friends and family. 

Check: World Wildlife Day

Common Myths About Turtles 

Turtles are fascinating creatures that have been around for millions of years. However, there are many myths surrounding them that need to be debunked. Here are 10 common myths about turtles:

Turtles can come out of their shells.Turtles cannot come out of their shells. Their shells are part of their body and are fused to their spine.
Turtles are slow.While some turtles are slow, others can be surprisingly fast. For example, the leatherback sea turtle can swim up to 22 miles per hour.
Turtles are easy to take care of as pets.Turtles require specific habitats, diets, and care. They can live for decades and require a long-term commitment.
Turtles can breathe through their butts.While some turtles can absorb oxygen through their skin, none of them can breathe through their butts.
All turtles are herbivores.While some turtles are herbivores, others are omnivores or even carnivores.
There are only a few types of Turtles. There are over 300 species of turtles, each with unique characteristics and traits.
Turtles can retract their heads into their shells.While some turtles can retract their heads partially, none of them can retract their heads completely into their shells.
All turtles are cold-blooded.Turtles are ectothermic, meaning their body temperature is regulated by their environment, but they are not necessarily cold-blooded.
Turtles can live forever.While turtles can live for a long time, they do not live forever. The oldest turtle living today is around 190 years old. 
Turtles are not intelligent.Many turtles have shown problem-solving skills and can learn through conditioning and observation.


When was the “Save the Sea Turtle” Stamp issued by the United States Postal Service (USPS)?

In 2011

Why do we celebrate World Turtle Day?

We celebrate World Turtle Day to raise awareness about Turtle protection.

Do turtles have teeth?

No, Turtles don’t have any teeth at all. 

How many types of turtles are there?

There are more than 300 different species of turtles. 

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