From the land to the Sea

The subjects of countless origin myths, folklores and stories across cultures- turtles face great threat today, all thanks to humans. Quick and collective actions need to be taken for their protection. Hence, World Turtle Day is observed to make the dream of making the earth a good home for them a reality.
A baby turtle- probably the only non-scary reptile; Source: CM Aquarium

A baby turtle- probably the only non-scary reptile; Source: CM Aquarium

A species that dates back to the middle Jurassic, survived what the mighty dinosaurs couldn't manage to live through extinctions and evolved to thrive in different habitats around the earth. These are turtles. For thousands of years it had been smooth sailing for them; they were invincible- almost.

Things changed in the Anthropocene, the age of man.

The growing intervention into their habitats, pollution of water bodies, ruthless hunting and even activities like fishing poses a threat to turtles with more than half of their species being classified as endangered today.

To raise awareness regarding the dwindling population of turtles, world turtle day is observed on 23rd May each year. Don’t worry, tortoises are not excluded from it.

While we usually call anything will a shell that is not a snail a “turtle”, many differences exist between them and tortoises.

Tortoises are bigger, live for longer and are land dwellers. These differences don't really matter to the greed of humans. The indiscriminate killing of these creatures- directly or indirectly- has significantly reduced their population.

In such circumstances, World Turtle Day becomes the light at the end of the tunnel. First celebrated in 2000 by the American Tortoise Rescue. Its main aim is to raise awareness and make environmental protection a community effort.

Giant tortoise Adwait who died at the age of 225 and was one of the oldest living animals on earth; Source: Public Domain

People are educated about these marvellous creators, fundraisers are organized to raise money for their protection and turtles and tortoises are rescued from trafficking rackets. Different countries have different laws regarding their sale and purchase, but we are generally not aware of them. In a world where humans don’t know about their rights properly, it's certain that they won’t know anything about animal rights. Such events become extremely important in this case, as people of all ages are helped out of ignorance about important issues.

We are in a habit of taking nature for granted without realizing that interdependence made life possible on this planet. If a single link in this chain gets weakened, we all fall down.

It’s important for all flora and fauna to thrive for things to run smoothly and World Turtle Day serves as a reminder of this fact.

If you don’t want to be the person who puts tortoises in the ocean and have zero idea about giving hurt turtles emergency care, you have a chance coming your way on 23rd May.


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