Good morning everyone. I’m here on your lovely Los Angeles beach to speak to you about my obsession. My passion is for tortoises and I’m the spokes turtle for the American Tortoise Rescue (ATR) mission http://www.tortoise.com/. I’m also the boss of the turtle yard and ATR’s mascot. I am King Tortoise in L.A. and many of you probably know me from my academy award wining romance movie, “Bunkle does the South Pacific”. My name is Bunkle and I’m a turtle-holic. I love my tortoises and today, May 23, is International World Turtle Day.
I met the nice folks at ATR in 1990 when I was killer whale surfing off the Los Angeles coastline. We were filming the new remake of the 1975 movie thriller “Jaws”. My stunt was the opening 4-minute act. Spielberg yelled cut because that stupid mechanical shark missed his cue again. The great white was supposed to attack me but had an electrical problem. It lay motionless in the water and filming was cancelled that day. I gave Steven a piece of my mind too. “Spielberg, you’re killing me here,” I shouted. I flopped off Orca and swam to shore with my entourage of 100-year old female tortoises.
I was headed to my trailer when I spotted the ATR folks on the shoreline. I had heard about the fabulous things these guys from American Tortoise Rescue were achieving from sonar news reports. They’ve been doing great things to help our brothers and sisters in our time of need. The American Tortoise Rescue http://www.tortoise.com/ is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization is dedicated to the protection of turtles and tortoises throughout the world. Our mission is to educate those wanting to know more about these gentle and wonderful creatures. They stop our habitat destruction and end the cruel pet trade of these gentle creatures.
Back in the day, there was no way I was going let some trapper use my skins and fins for leather goods. Not a chance. I had bigger fish to fry than roll over and be captured. There wasn’t a lady tortoise for 1,000 miles who didn’t want a piece of my action. I was the envy of every turtle dude. Uh huh; a real lady’s man! I even had my own billboards 2,500 feet underwater on the slope of the continental shelf. Almost all of the sea creatures loved me and there was always a coral reef party in my honor. All the girls draped seaweed leis over my neck and the kisses were plentiful. Those sea chicks really loved me. The sharks and I got along great also but it’s those slimy eels that I don’t like. Those guys are snakes and they scare away my paparazzi.
Now I wasn’t one of the lost, abandoned, or special needs turtles. I was lucky. I let American Tortoise Rescue http://www.tortoise.com/ catch me so I could see Los Angeles the way I was born to see it. Movie stars, hot dogs on the beach, and all those air-breathing mammals wearing bikinis “grrrrrrrowl”! Move over Stallone and get out of way Brad Pitt. There’s a new tortoise in town and they call me Mr. B!
When I learned that American Tortoise Rescue http://www.tortoise.com/ were rescuing and rehabilitating turtles and tortoises, I discovered my true calling in life. I was adamant about joining their cause in providing for the protection of all species of tortoises and turtles. Today, we offer permanent sanctuary to abandoned and lost tortoises though we no longer do adoptions. Special needs turtles and tortoises that cannot be placed stay in the care of American Tortoise Rescue for the remainder of their lives. My kin will no longer be made into boots and leather purses. We’re all endangered you know.
On the beach that day back in 1990, I needed to get ATR’s attention. All I did was present my Austin Powers mojo with a slow strut across the beach and I grabbed the lady worker’s attention. It was easy for me to do as their heads started shaking. Bunkle’s mojo is too much to ignore and they were all mesmerized by my slow, sensual walk. I signed the contract to become their spokesperson the same day.
Today, American Tortoise Rescue http://www.tortoise.com/ also acts as a national clearinghouse for information about the care, feeding, and rehabilitation of endangered and captive-bred tortoises. In addition, we work to abolish “live market” slaughter of turtles, the illegal sale of hatchlings and turtles that are under four inches, the cruel importation and exportation of a variety of species. We also work to protect the desert tortoise from collectors, off-road vehicles, and loss of habitat. You can read more about immediate threats in “Turtles in Danger”.
Ladies and gentleman of the beach; it’s time to get the word out about the American Tortoise Rescue http://www.tortoise.com/ mission. Today is May 23 and it’s International World Turtle Day. Snails; you guys get to the high ground and pass out flyers. Come on now people, let’s chop-chop your slow-poke butts up there – pronto! Sea gulls; fly in formation and trail those promotional banners overhead. Follow the coastline and no fish-diving until lunch break! Crabs; stop acting so grumpy. Put on a happy face and man the information tables and serve refreshments with a smile! I’ll be over at the VIP booth signing autographs and doing photo shoots. My name is Bunkle the turtle, so let’s spread the word about saving turtles TODAY!
Rachel Hoyt’s blog post talking about what people can do today to become more educated about this endangered species.
American Tortoise Rescue http://www.tortoise.com/
NOTE: I’m Charlie Nitric. Please click on the links provided in this post to learn more about the serious nature of these endangered species – turtles and tortoises. They are members of the reptile kingdom and not amphibians. Take some time out of your busy lives to become educated about this wonderful cause. Stumble my link, Rachel’s and ATR’s links; Tweet us & send to your social media sites. Get the word out. Today is International World Turtle Day. This matter is a concern to all human beings world-wide. Thank you for reading me and your comments are always most appreciated. Enjoy your World Turtle Day! 🙂 http://www.tortoise.com/
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