(Last Updated On: November 18, 2022)


Rarely is there an animal more beloved by humanity than the turtle. These shelled creatures can be found in virtually all corners of the globe and have found their way into parables, mythology and all forms of popular media.

Each year, May 23rd is dedicated to our friends, the turtle, and tortoise. World Turtle Day is not only about showing love and adoration towards turtles but also making sure we can protect them as well as their various habitats.

It’s important to know what the difference between a turtle and a tortoise is. Although they both belong to the same family, turtles spend their time near or in the water while tortoises are primarily land creatures.

Both turtles and tortoises are creatures who play tremendous roles in their respective ecosystems. Whether it’s by digging holes that are habitable for other creatures or cleaning up dead fish from beaches, there are more than enough reasons to ensure their protection.


Figure out what kind of turtle or tortoise is native to your region. With so many different species you never know when this information might come in handy!

Use the hashtags #WorldTurtleDay and #Shellebrate to share on social media all things turtle!


World Turtle Day was founded by the American Tortoise Rescue (ATR), a non-profit organization committed to the protection of all turtles and tortoise alike. In 2002, the rescue announced World Turtle Day to fall on May 23rd annually. Since then, today has been an opportunity for people to celebrate turtles as well as mobilize efforts in protecting them and their habitats globally.

Susan Tellem and Marshall Thompson are the founders of the American Tortoise Rescue. They’re renowned advocates of the humane treatment of all animals, including reptiles. Since 1990, ATR has given a home to over 4,000 tortoises and turtles. They’ve been able to assist their local law enforcement in guarding natural habitat and have proven themselves as a helpful source of information when handling sick, neglected and abandoned turtles.

Join the

Stay up to date on upcoming national days and Celebrate Every Day!