Sign warns drivers to slow down for turtles A "Turtle Crossing" sign warns drivers just east of West Terre Haute, Indiana (AP photos)
Sign warns drivers to slow down for turtles
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State crews in Indiana have put up "Turtle Crossing" signs along a busy road. It runs beside a wildlife area in Terre Haute.

The signs mark an area where turtles of various species are killed by vehicles. They are hit as they try to cross National Avenue on the northern edge of the Wabashiki Fish and Wildlife Area, said Amber Slaughterbeck. She is natural resource programmer for the Vigo County parks department.

Slaughterbeck said she hoped the signs will raise awareness among drivers. She first noticed the problem in 2009. She was a student at nearby St. Mary-of-the-Woods College and she told the Tribune-Star newspaper she found dead turtles all over the road.

"It was like a massacre of these turtles, so I pulled my car over and started walking along the guardrail," she said. "At that point, I thought I would save just a few turtles and see where it goes. I came back the next day and the next day and realized that there were a lot of turtles to be saved."

Slaughterbeck and volunteers have moved more than 2,000 turtles from the roadside. The turtles are taken to a nearby lake.

Indiana Department of Transportation spokeswoman Debbie Calder said the signs are temporary while the agency considers ways to protect the reptiles. She said the ultimate plan is to raise money for fencing and tunnels.

"It is not just the turtles. We have pulled river otters out of the road," she said. "We ideally would like a tunnel big enough to allow the river otters, the beavers and all the other animals to cross underneath."

Critical thinking challenge: Why are so many turtles near this busy highway?

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COMMENTS (90)
  • MaxM-4
    11/26/2014 - 03:45 p.m.

    In Indiana, state crews have put up signs along a busy road that say "turtle crossing." The road runs next to a wildlife park, and lots of turtles and other animals have been killed trying to cross the road. The signs have helped, but there will hopefully be a tunnel built under the road for the animals to go through.
    I think it's really cool that people are trying to protect these animals by putting up signs. I also think that they should really consider building a tunnel.

  • GwynI-Cal
    11/26/2014 - 05:04 p.m.

    I would have never thought of making a hole under the road for the animals to cross the other side. If you would have look on the road you would probably see lots of died animals'.

  • JackS-4
    11/28/2014 - 03:38 p.m.

    In the western part of Terra Haute, Indiana, a busy road is responsible for the deaths of a lot of turtles. Workers have put up signs to slow down for turtle crossing. Amber Slaughterback has rescued many animals from the side of the road and hopes to save many others.

    Animals are often seen crossing the street, but Turtles are something else. They are so tiny it is so easy to accidentally run them over, and i am happy to hear that someone has taken the liberty to saving them.

  • AustinN-3
    11/28/2014 - 06:21 p.m.

    In 2009, Amber Slaughterbeck, a local Indiana student, noticed dead turtles across one of the main roads. The turtles would try to cross the National Avenue. In an attempt to save a couple turtle lives, Slaughterbeck put up "Turtle Crossing" signs. She hopes these will alert drivers and save turtles.

    This was an interesting article that was engaging. I really enjoyed it.

  • AmandaM-1
    11/28/2014 - 07:42 p.m.

    Recently in Indiana turtles have been getting run over by cars on the freeway. State crews put up "turtle crossing" signs to warn drivers of the crawling creatures. The turtles have been spotted on the National Avenue dead and motionless. Slaughterbeck first noticed dead turtles on the highway in 2009. She hopes the signs will help drivers in Indiana be more cautious of the crossing turtles. I think that it's really sad how people are so ignorant of their surroundings while driving that they don't even notice when they hit a harmless turtle that's crossing the street.

  • Ndemucci-3
    11/28/2014 - 09:55 p.m.

    When I'm in a car I'll sometimes see a sign that say to look out for something on the road but I never have seen one for turtles. I find it very nice that they have put that sign there, I could not think about how many turtle have been killed be vehicles. The difference that the sign made was very surprising to me.

  • qianqiany-Koc
    11/29/2014 - 02:54 a.m.

    I think natural sources programmer they put sign turtles warns people who driver over there will be careful and slow down for turtles. For this season which has a lot turtles they came out

  • ElleW-3
    11/30/2014 - 09:38 p.m.

    This article is about a sign that warns drivers to watch out for turtles crossing the road. Many turtles are killed by cars when they cross the street, if you do see a turtle on this street call animal control and they will take it to a near by lake. I think this is good because it shows that they don't want to loose an endangered species. I think this is very great for the community.

  • mosesv-Koc
    12/01/2014 - 12:43 a.m.

    It's pretty funny to see a Turtle Crossing sign put up on the streets. I would of never expected that there's many turtles in Indiana. It would be amazing to see a sign like this be posted up in Las Vegas. It would be something all the people in Vegas would love to see.

  • miahh-bra
    12/01/2014 - 08:26 a.m.

    The reason why there are so many turtles near the busy highway is because It runs beside a wildlife area in Terre Haute.
    The signs mark an area where turtles of various species.

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