Special Tunnels Save Turtles From Train Deaths In Japan


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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  • 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
      • flying_kiwi
        flying_kiwiSunday, November 10, 2019 at 8:39 am
        Awww so cute!
        • vsco girl sksksTuesday, November 5, 2019 at 7:11 pm
          #Save the turtles! This is why I ONLY use metal straws.
          • Otaku Friday, October 25, 2019 at 6:45 pm
            I ❤japan
            • am-olm1
              am-olm1Thursday, October 17, 2019 at 6:45 pm
              I would faint if I saw they die on the video or picture.
              • am-olm1
                am-olm1Thursday, October 17, 2019 at 6:45 pm
                Thank God that they saved the turtles.
                • am-olm1
                  am-olm1Thursday, October 17, 2019 at 6:45 pm
                  #SAVE THE TURTLES!
                  • diego sFriday, September 20, 2019 at 9:58 am
                    you are right SAVE THE TURTLES
                    • i love TURTLESFriday, September 6, 2019 at 6:36 am
                      on the video one flipped over poor thing SAVE THE TURTLES