Sign warns drivers to slow down for turtles
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 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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Assigned 13 times

  • IsaiahD16
    12/01/2014 - 11:03 a.m.

    It is a very good reasons to put up signs for turtles crossing. Turtles are animals too. They deserve to be saved and not be ran over by a car.

  • carsen.basso48
    12/01/2014 - 12:47 p.m.

    They put the sign there because there are woods next to the street, and they have wildlife living in there. I suggest that they put a tunnel under the freeway so you can still go and not worry about the turtles crossing.

  • Aw2001soccer
    12/01/2014 - 01:02 p.m.

    there are many turtles there because the road is near the woods and ponds and lakes that's where turtles live and they cross the road to go to the other part of the woods

  • Precious7
    12/01/2014 - 02:50 p.m.

    This will cause less death's of turtles on the road. I feel like the signs are a really good idea. Especially for the turtle species.

  • nylienc-Koc
    12/01/2014 - 04:31 p.m.

    I think it was good of her to tell whoever she told. I say this because plenty of people would have kept walking and wouldn't have cared. Also it shows how much she cares for the environment.

  • JacobM-5
    12/01/2014 - 07:42 p.m.

    This article is about a highway near many animal habitats like turtles and beavers. A group of people decided to make signs which warned car drivers on the upcoming animals. This sign was a success and saved over 2,000 turtles and many other animals. I though this article was nice to know about how many people decided to help animals like this.

  • IM2000food
    12/02/2014 - 01:13 p.m.

    there are so many turtles near this busy highway because it is by the woods were land turtles live and it is also by ponds/lakes where sea turtles live.

  • PotatoSkin3
    12/02/2014 - 01:17 p.m.

    Wow! That is a great idea! Turtles die a lot. They should have stronger shells if they get killed when getting hit by a car.

  • jgolden-Cla
    12/03/2014 - 11:57 a.m.

    that's crazy that so many animals get hit just trying to cross the road to go to another lake to survive in the wild hope that the plans get passed

  • kbryant-Cla
    12/03/2014 - 12:00 p.m.

    I think this is a great way to try and save turtles, or any type of animal by putting up these signs. People are more likely to be more careful and beware of animals around them.

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