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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  • nitria
    nitria2 months
    • nitria
      nitria2 months
      This is a smart and a cool way to save small animals!
      • alphadog
        alphadog6 months
        I love turtles🐢
        • sunnyturtle
          sunnyturtle6 months
          Turtles rule! They totally deserve this!
          • doggiecafe
            doggiecafe7 months
            Yay for the turtles :) They could have been crushed without these!
            • eagleland
              eagleland7 months
              yay turtles! I have a pet turtle!
              • wolfy_blue
                wolfy_blue7 months
                Yay finally!
                • kittylover111
                  kittylover11110 months
                  I'm a kitty lover, but I also love turtles! #SaveAllTheAnimals
                • malandeive
                  malandeive11 months
                  that third turtle that got down in the tunnel in the video is so poor cause be is upsidown poor thing
                • science_lover
                  science_loverabout 1 year
                  These poor little turtles are so cute. Thank god they saved them, and how can you not they’re so cute. #SaveTurtles #MakeTheWorldBetter #SaveAnimals 😊 😊 😊