Turtle Tunnel Saves Lives

Because of their speed and size, turtles can accidentally be run over.

via. pixabay

Because of their speed and size, turtles can accidentally be run over.

In the world, there are many bustling, busy streets and roads always with vehicles roaring past at vicious speeds. Especially on highways and railroads, they are hazards to many small animals intending to cross them, and, unfortunately, the outcome tends to be death. However, scientists and engineers have collaborated to create a solution to this misfortune: a turtle tunnel.

The Wisconsin State Highway 66 crosses over the Plover River that is filled with wildlife, and that was a problem. Since the highway and wildlife are so close to each other, the highway proves a danger to animals. In 2015, around 66 turtles were killed crossing the busy intersection. Not only that, but it can also sometimes cause traffic to humans who are waiting for the turtles or other animals to cross. 

To solve this problem, the Wisconsin transportation and natural resources departments along with the University of Wisconsin-Steven Point installed a passageway under the highway, with fencing on the sides of the roadside. They added a reflective aluminum that flashed due to sunlight hitting it at the entrance from both sides of the tunnel to allow light to reflect into the darkness. This allowed the animals passing through, especially turtles to see where to go when passing through. 

After this, numbers have decreased to only 40 turtles having been killed since 2016 when the tunnel was constructed. Although this tunnel may be for turtles, it has also attracted several other animals such as rodents, raccoons, and more. The turtle tunnel gave many benefits, allowing animals to safely travel and let humans to also drive smoothly and safely without interruption. 

Another place where they had built a turtle tunnel was in Japan, under rail tracks. This railway is located between the Suma Aqualife Park and the ocean. So, when turtles would try to reach the ocean from the aquarium, they would get stuck between railway switches. Sadly, they would then get crushed when the switches move. From 2002 to 2014, there have been 13 train disruptions due to this. Not only do turtles receive a horrible death, but can cause humans to have delays in train operations. 

Once again, the ingenious plan was made to install tunnels under the railways allowing turtles to walk safely under the rail tracks. This also benefited people as the tunnel lessened the train disruptions. Railway staff also check the tunnels to see if there were any reptiles, and if found, they would be sent back to the aquarium. Once the passageway was built, they have saved 10 turtles. 

Although these passageways were built to save turtles, some turtles do not find or use the tunnel because they do not realize it is the safe way through. Fortunately, many other turtles have been saved because of these tunnels in Wisconsin and Japan.