Wednesday, May 11, 2011
There's a special place in hell for drivers who intentionally swerve out of their lanes to kill box turtles; the smashed shells on the shoulder are testament to this cruel and sick behaviour. When I first moved to the Ozarks I was truly horrified to see so many dead box turtles in the road. It's really not that difficult to avoid hitting them (for god's sake), they're not zooming across the road with such rapidity that any conscientious driver couldn't avoid hitting them.
So when I first moved here and commuted from my maintenance shed living quarters to my place of employment, I stopped and moved every turtle I encountered on the lettered highways. I had more time for engaging in natural history then, for recording the first time I saw fireflies each May, when the whip-por-wills started calling in the woods. And I kept track of how many turtles I moved in my little field notebook. By the end of July, I had moved over 300 turtles off the road and recorded 128 dead turtles on the same commute. Oh, it's not the safest practice, slamming on the brakes to move wildlife from the road, but I did it for snakes and toads, too. There was the time when I parked at the crest of a hill to move a turtle, failed to put my emergency brake on, and my car rolled downhill into the ditch. I wasn't accustomed to hills, nor with the various gears in my stick shift Honda. Nevertheless, I moved the turtle, was late for work, and remain grateful to guys with trucks and chains who drive around waiting to pull cars out of ditches.
It's that time of year again when box turtles truck across several lanes of traffic. The poor dears, they're not adapted to living in a world with speeding vehicles and the twisted souls who find pleasure in taking their lives. Drivers should slow down and consciously avoid hitting turtles this spring. The fatalities are surely adding up. Seriously, it's really not that hard to avoid hitting turtles.
Posted by Allison Vaughn at 5:49 PM