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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827 Comments
  • 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
              • 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.