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Japan Just Built Adorable Mini-Tunnels To Help Turtles Cross Train Tracks.

People all over the world seem to have a special place in their heart for turtles. The slow moving, adorable little guys have been the subject of beloved cartoons and graced the households of budding animal lovers everywhere… but despite our affection, 62% of turtle species are endangered. Of the 207 varieties of turtles and tortoises in the world today, 129 are a hair’s breadth from extinction. Tragically, roads and railways are largely to blame.

One Japanese railroad company is on a mission to keep these beautiful creatures out of harm’s way. The turtles have a habit of getting stuck in the railway switching system, then tragically are crushed by the machine’s sheer weight. Asahi Shimbun, a Japanese daily newspaper, reports that turtles have caused 13 train disruptions between 2002 and 2014 in Kyoto and Nara.

t1Asahi online

West Japan Railway Company and the Suma Aqualife Park teamed up to visualize a solution to the problem. They created separate U-shaped tunnels beneath the existing train tracks just for turtles. The personalized lane keeps the little ones from harm and helps them on their merry way. Already, these pathways have saved lives.

Asahi online

Just in case, the West Japan Railway Company monitors the turtle lanes monthly. Any turtle they find trapped on the tracks will be sent to the nearby Suma aquarium for a checkup and release back into the wild.

Check out the innovation in action below and share if this unique act of kindness made your day!

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