World Turtle Day

May 23

Visit the Zoo and help us shellebrate World Turtle Day!

  • Ask all of your turtle questions during scheduled World Turtle Day keeper chats.
  • See, feed, and touch one of the largest living tortoise species during an Aldabra tortoise Wild Encounter.*
  • From tiny baby terrapins, to burrowing gopher tortoises, to the giant Aldabra tortoises, the Zoo is filled with chelonians. Walk through the Zoo to see if you can find them all.
  • Learn more about turtles and tortoises through biofact exploration, games, and activities.
    • Explore the special and unique adaptations of turtles and tortoises by looking at shells, eggs, and skulls.
    • Discover ways you can help your native species.
  • Can’t join us in person? Check out Zoo Atlanta’s social media networks for a special World Turtle Day takeover.
  • Show you’re a conservation hero year-round with the purchase of an Animal Awareness Day tote bag!
    • Use provided fabric markers to decorate and make your bag uniquely you.
    • All proceeds go to the Zoo’s conservation fund that allows us to help animals in the wild and their habitats.

Activities are free for Zoo Atlanta Members and children under 3; free with general admission. 

*Wild Encounters are an optional experience that requires face masks, advanced registration, and an additional fee.

In the Wild …

Turtles and tortoises are some of the world’s most unique and interesting reptile species. Furthermore, chelonians are one of the most threatened groups of animals on the planet today. Chelonian populations around the world are consistently at risk due to many factors including habitat destruction, habitat degradation, illegal wildlife collection and trafficking, and more. Habitat destruction is the number one contributing factor to animal extinction around the world today. Both exotic and native chelonian species are threatened due to habitat destruction and illegal over-collection.

Zoo Atlanta helps protect native and exotic chelonians by contributing to Species Survival Plans® (SSPs) for various Asian box turtles (Cuora spp.). Zoo Atlanta also partners with the Georgia Sea Turtle Center on its Jekyll Island Causeway Conservation Project, which seeks to raise awareness of the threats facing native diamondback terrapins on coastal roadways. The Zoo contributes to the Georgia Sea Turtle Center’s efforts by rearing young terrapins hatched from eggs laid by females injured or killed by automobiles; when they are large enough to sufficiently avoid predators, these youngsters are returned to the Georgia Sea Turtle Center, who prepares them for release into the wild.

You can help native chelonian species by donating to institutions like the Georgia Sea Turtle Center that rehabilitate and research some of Georgia’s coolest native chelonians. Another option for helping native chelonians is to donate or volunteer for organizations like the Orianne Society and the Longleaf Alliance, who spearhead programs that preserve chelonian habitats in the Southeast. You can help preserve exotic chelonian species by donating to the Turtle Conservancy, the Turtle Survival Alliance, and UNESCO World Heritage Sites. These organizations perform valuable work protecting imperiled chelonian habitats around the world.

Connect With Your Wild Side #onlyzooatl