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World Turtle Day 2019 Advocates ‘Adopt, Don’t Shop’


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American Tortoise Rescue is celebrating its 19th annual World Turtle Day on May 23.

American Tortoise Rescue

The American Tortoise Rescue will be celebrating its 19th annual World Turtle Day on May 23 with the theme “Adopt, Don’t Shop.”

“There are rescues throughout the globe that help place turtles and tortoises into forever homes, most at no cost,” said Susan Tellem, RN, BSN, co-founder of the nonprofit.

There are many ways to support World Turtle Day, according to Tellem, including checking out the World Turtle Day Party Pack, liking the World Turtle Day page on Facebook, following @WorldTurtleDay on Twitter, joining Instagram and following the YouTube channel.

“We are more grateful than ever this year to ‘shellebrate,’” Tellem said. “We lost our home and the turtle hospital in the Woolsey fire in Malibu, one of the worst wildfires in history. We were able to evacuate with all 35 turtles and tortoises in our hospital, but those in the rescue itself were hibernating and hidden. Fortunately, the 15 pond turtles and more than 50 other rescues sheltered in place in fireproof housing that my husband built years ago.”

The American Tortoise Rescue created and launched World Turtle Day to increase respect for and knowledge of turtles. These animals survived 200 million years, yet they are rapidly disappearing as a result of smuggling, the exotic food industry, habitat destruction, climate change and pet trade, according to the rescue group. Biologists and other experts predict the disappearance of turtles and tortoises in the wild within the next 50 years, the nonprofit further noted.

 

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