help save a tortoise

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Listen up, shells!

Today is the start of International Turtle and Tortoise Week!  Aka time for us to get out there and show everyone how awesome we are!

This year’s theme is ways people can help save turtles and tortoises.  Let’s get this shell-ebration going!

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That brings another #WorldTurtleDay to a close. We’ll be sharing more words of wisdom from experts in the coming weeks. We leave you with this:

The American Tortoise Rescue has come up with a few things YOU can do to help turtles and tortoises this year.  

Biologists and other experts predict the disappearance of turtles and tortoises within the next 50 years. Adults and children can do a few small things that can help save turtles and tortoises for future generations.

  • Never buy a turtle or tortoise from a pet shop as it increases demand from the wild.
  •  Never remove turtles or tortoises from the wild unless they are sick or injured.  
  • 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.  
  • Write letters to legislators asking them to keep sensitive habitat preserved or closed to off-road vehicles and to prevent off shore drilling that can lead to endangered sea turtle deaths.
  • Report cruelty or illegal sales of turtles and tortoises to your local animal control shelter.
  • Report the use of tiny turtles as prizes at carnivals and other events.  It’s illegal.
  • Report the sale of any turtle or tortoise of any kind less than four inches.  It is illegal to buy and sell them throughout the U.S.
  • Person 1 [drowning in the ocean]: help!!! I'm drowning in the ocean!
  • Person 2: save him, turtle man!
  • Tortoise man: for the last time, I am not turtle man. I am tortoise man. Turtles reside in the water some or nearly all of the time, whereas tortoises dwell on the land
  • Person 1: *drowns*
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Good samaritans are accidentally mistaking a gopher tortoise for a sea turtle, releasing them into the ocean where they are less likely to end up as dinner for the many dangers that lurk on the beaches. Unfortunately, gopher tortoises can’t swim. 

The two shelled creatures can be distinguished by their limbs. Gopher tortoises have toes with a claw on each toe, and sea turtles have flippers, for swimming. [via]