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While World Turtle Day is officially on May 23rd, we hope you'll help us SHELLebrate, here at Rolling Hills Zoo, on Saturday, May 25th.
- 10:00 a.m. - Join us at the Reptile Building for a special Turtle Activity!
- 11:30 a.m. - Keeper Encounter
Turtles are in serious trouble. They are some of the world's most endangered vertebrates, more than mammals, birds, or even highly endangered amphibians. Half of their species are threatened with extinction." - Dr. Anders Rhodin, Chair of the Tortoise and Freshwater Turtle Specialist Group.
Do you know that we have SIX turtle species, right here at Rolling Hills Zoo? Here are the species we house, along with their conservation status and location:
- Found on Aldabra islands off of Africa
- One of the largest species of tortoises
- Can live to be over 100 years old
- Critically Endangered due to the destruction of habitat for farming & ranching, also pet trade
- Found in northern Egypt, where they are almost extinct, despite being protected there. Also found in Northeastern Libya, and they have no protection there.
- They're the 2nd smallest tortoise species in the world, and the smallest tortoise in the Northern hemisphere!
- Vulnerable due to habitat loss and urbanization
- Found in the Southwest United States
Yellow-Footed Tortoises & Red-Footed Tortoises
- Vulnerable due to habitat loss and pet trade
- Found in South America
Ornate Box Turtles
- Near Threatened due to habitat loss from agriculture & urban development, as well as over-collection for pet trade and/or hunting.
- State reptile of Kansas
What Can You Do to Help?
- 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.
- EMERGENCY CARE: If a tortoise is crossing a busy street, 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.
- REPORT THE SALE: of any turtle or tortoise of any kind less than four inches. This is illegal throughout the U.S.
- REPORT THE CRUELTY: or illegal sales of turtles and tortoises to your local animal control shelter.
- 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 more endangered sea turtle deaths.
If You'd Like to Get Involved, Here are Some Helpful Links: