Animal ambassador conservationists: Theodore Roosevelt

Teddy the ornate box turtle at the Dickinson County Nature Center is named after former president and conservationist Theodore Roosevelt.

an ornate box turtle

Teddy the ornate box turtle

Roosevelt, whose nickname was Teddy --- even though he didn't like it, was born in 1858 in New York City. He grew up homeschooled due to medical conditions and grew a passion for animals during this time.

In 1884, Roosevelt left New York City for the Dakota Territory, where he spent two years as a cowboy and cattle rancher, mourning the death of his mother and wife.

Roosevelt became president in 1901 after the assassination of President McKinley. Roosevelt was the youngest man to assume the presidency, at age 42.

Theodore Roosevelt

He was considered a conservationist for his work protecting natural areas throughout the country. In 1906, he signed the National Monuments Act or American Antiquities Act. Through this, 150 national forests, 51 federal bird sanctuaries, four national game preserves, five national parks and 18 national monuments were created. During his presidency, Roosevelt protected about 230 million acres of public land.

Roosevelt died in 1919, but his legacy is found throughout the U.S. Six national park sites are dedicated to him.

(Read more about his connection to national parks here.)