Crossing a railroad track at a turtle's pace doesn't sound like a good idea. But when actual turtles attempt to cross over railroad tracks, their slow speed is just the start of their problems.
They also are at risk for falling into the spaces between the tracks and getting stuck, until they eventually get run over or caught in part of the track's rail-switching mechanism. Not only do the turtles lose their lives, but the trains can become damaged, causing delays in service.
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The Suma Aqualife Park in Kobe, Japan - a large aquarium and beach destination - is especially familiar with this issue, with several turtles getting stuck in train tracks every year.
The park recently joined forces with the West Japan Railway Company to face this obstacle head on. After some brainstorming, they decided to carve out U-shaped concrete escape ditches that run beneath the tracks.
The escape paths are conveniently located close to the tracks' switch points, where turtles most often get trapped.
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Ever since the turtle escape tunnels have been implemented this past April, at least 10 turtles left the train tracks via their new route - saving their lives and minimizing any expenses that may have resulted from train repairs and delays.
Although Japan's park was the first to take this step, it's possible other attractions could follow.
via The Japan Times
Credit: Suma Aqualife Park