This story was written by animal keeper Kristin Fulton:
This year celebrates the 11th Annual World Turtle Day. Turtles and Tortoises have been on Earth for over 220 million years. They fascinate and inspire through their longevity and gentle nature. American Tortoise Rescue sponsored the first World Turtle Day in California in 1990, but has since grown into an international celebration! The purpose of World Turtle Day is to increase knowledge and awareness of turtles and tortoises! Did you know that the United States is known internationally for its biodiversity, and the most diverse group of turtle species in the world is found right here in Florida?
Busch Gardens is dedicated to helping conserve our world’s turtles, and on Saturday, May 21, we invite our guests to join us at the Nairobi Aldabra Habitat to learn a little more about these amazing creatures. A recent study of turtles worldwide estimates that over 48 percent of all turtles are threatened with extinction within the next 20 to 35 years. That’s more than any other group of animals including Amphibians at 30 percent, Mammals at 25 percent, and birds at 12 percent! The Sea World and Busch Gardens Conservation Fund helps promote turtle research and conservation every year, but there are many things, both large and small, that everyone can do to help turtles and tortoises.
Busch Gardens plays a huge role in turtle conservation by encouraging human action to help turtles survive and thrive in their natural world. The Busch Gardens Conservation Fund was launched in 2003, but the parks combined contribution to conservation totals over $20 million since 1970! For more information about the fund please visit, www.swbg-conservationfund.org