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 are killed by vehicles. They are hit as they try to cross a road. The road is on the edge of the Wabashiki Fish and Wildlife Area.
Amber Slaughterbeck of the Vigo County parks department said she first noticed the turtle problem in 2009. At the time, she was a student at nearby St. Mary-of-the-Woods College. 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. "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.
The state of Indiana is looking for ways to protect the reptiles. In the future, money may be raised for fencing and tunnels.
"We ideally would like a tunnel big enough to allow the river otters, the beavers and all the other animals to cross underneath," said Indiana Department of Transportation spokeswoman Debbie Calder.