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
Lexile

State crews in Indiana have put up "Turtle Crossing" signs along a busy road running beside a wildlife area in Terre Haute.

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

Slaughterbeck said she hoped the signs will raise awareness among drivers about the danger facing the turtles that she first noticed in 2009 when she was a student at nearby St. Mary-of-the-Woods College. 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 to a nearby lake in recent years.

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 (29)
  • 5SethM
    11/25/2014 - 05:26 p.m.

    If I were to take a guess of why there were so many turtles in that area, it would be because of the water. The lady clearly states that there is a water source near the road. Everyone wants a bridge to be put in that goes under the road. That is why so many turtles are dying, because they have to cross the road. What's worse, a dead turtle or a car accident?

  • Nicholasl-Lam
    11/26/2014 - 10:44 a.m.

    I think it is great that people are trying to protect the turtles and other species for trying to cross the highway. I like the idea of digging a big tunnel under the highway so animals do not have to take their chances and run across a highway full of moving cars. I think that they have some really good ideas on how to save them, and I am also glad that there are people actually trying to save the animals and not just let them keep dying.

  • Tylere-Lam
    11/26/2014 - 01:31 p.m.

    I like the fact that people are taking matters into their own hands to save wildlife. I like the idea of a tunnel so the animals can go under the tunnel instead of getting hit by cars up on the road. Putting fences up so animals cant go on the road is a good idea too, and it might be cheaper. Whatever idea the people decide to use to save the animals should work. I hope it does

  • Gigid-Lam
    11/26/2014 - 01:39 p.m.

    I think that this is a really great way to try and save the turtles. It raises the drivers awareness of crossing turtles. I love turtles, my family and I save them from the side of the road every year and have often joked about making a turtle crossing. Finding out that someone is actually trying to make a more reasonable version of our turtle crossing really made my day. Over all I think that this is a great idea and that this world is lucky to have people who try to save the animals.

  • symones-Koc
    11/26/2014 - 03:27 p.m.

    What are the turtles doing next to a busy street? if people see there are turtles crossing the street they should stop and not kill them cause that's not cool to do to any animals

  • devonm-3
    11/28/2014 - 07:26 p.m.

    Turtles are being saved by turtle crossing signs. Indiana has put up signs to save turtles living road side. Many drivers hit the crossing turtles while going down the highway. River Otters have also been hit and it is a serious problem. The signs have saved many lives of turtles and other wildlife. Indiana Department of Transportation also helps with the turtles by moving them to a near by lake. This is a great idea and saving turtles is great. The turtles will have a better life and the roads will be cleaner. I hope the turtles stay safe.

  • filipm-Koc
    11/30/2014 - 03:49 p.m.

    When a student found out that on that road lots of turtles were dead, she decided that they put a sign turtles crossing. So after she came there were lots of turtles to be saved, Slaughter beck and volunteers have moved more than 2,000 turtles from the roadside to a nearby lake in recent years.

  • miguelr-Koc
    12/01/2014 - 01:12 a.m.

    I think there should be more sighs like this so turtles won't go extinct. And a lot more people need to be carful. The U.S. needs to have more signs like this across the country.

  • alexisr-Koc
    12/01/2014 - 01:12 a.m.

    I think its nice they have a sign for turtles so drivers know that theyre around so they won't kill them. In indiana there are many turtles, I grew up there and I lived by a swamp and turtles would come all over our tennis court in my backyard. There's so many turtles near the highway because the woods have swampy areas for turtles to stay.

  • HerlindaV3
    12/01/2014 - 10:41 a.m.

    It's good that good people are trying to save the turtles and the other animals. I think these are good ways to save the turtles and the other animals.

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