Special Tunnels Save Turtles From Train Deaths In Japan

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Photo Credit: Suma Aqualife Parl

The Suma Aqualife Park in Kobe, Japan is no stranger to turtle traffic. Every summer from May to September, hundreds of reptiles make their way to and from the nearby ocean. While most manage to cover the short distance safely, a handful get trapped inside the railway tracks that lie between the ocean and the popular park.

According to the aquarium officials, as the turtles are trying to cross the tracks, a few fall in. Unable to climb out, they start to walk along the track. The problem arises when a trapped turtle is close to a railroad switch that is in the process of shifting to accommodate an incoming train. As the point blades move, they crush and kill the reptiles.

Photo Credit: Suma Aqualife Park

To save the precious animals, the Suma Aqualife Park officials teamed up with engineers from West Japan Railways to create 'turtle' tunnels. The U-shaped concrete ditches that have been built close to the treacherous switches provide a place for the turtles to slip into and protect them from the point blades. The tunnels also help prevent costly train delays that occur every time a reptile gets caught in the switch.

Since the five concrete tunnels were installed at the two closest railway stations in April and November, railroad personnel have scooped up ten turtles from the ditches and delivered them safely to the aquarium. As Naoki Kamezaki, the head of Suma Aqualife Park succinctly puts it, saving the turtles is a "refreshing feeling."

Resources: Huffingtonpost.com, metro.co.uk,citylab.com, japantimes.co.uk

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832 Comments
  • ultrajango
    ultrajangoThursday, June 11, 2020 at 11:00 am
    we have box turtles in our backyard and they are SO CUTE!!!
    • sikowitz
      sikowitzMonday, May 18, 2020 at 8:54 pm
      My dad lived in Japan and I saved a turtle too and I kept it and named it shelly
      • sikowitz
        sikowitzMonday, May 18, 2020 at 8:49 pm
        My dad grew up in japan
        • sikowitz
          sikowitzMonday, May 18, 2020 at 8:48 pm
          I am so excited that they were saved I actually have a turtle of my own it is a box turtle
          • ultrajango
            ultrajangoThursday, June 11, 2020 at 11:01 am
            we have box turtles in our backyard
          • logitechch
            logitechchFriday, March 6, 2020 at 5:40 am
            im glad there aok
            • jango
              jangoTuesday, February 25, 2020 at 6:07 am
              i think the Suma Aqualife Park could have made the sides rounder so that the adorable turtles slid down instead of falling but at least less precious turtles die #TurtlesAreCute
              • vinusyza-156720469301
                vinusyza-156720469301Wednesday, February 19, 2020 at 1:16 pm
                am-olm1 is right, i would faint, cry, or scream a little and be covered by my blanket.
                • vinusyza-156720469301
                  vinusyza-156720469301Wednesday, February 19, 2020 at 1:09 pm
                  The video was so cute how they were falling
                  • turtle0307
                    turtle0307Saturday, January 11, 2020 at 3:44 am
                    turtles are my favorite! #save the turtles!!
                    • softball_maegan
                      softball_maeganThursday, November 14, 2019 at 7:01 am
                      #SAVEtheturtles