If you don’t live in Japan, chances are the idea that a turtle could potentially disrupt train schedules might never occur to you. However it seems that in Japan, that is a problem and between 2002 to 2014, Asahi Shimbun reports that turtles were responsible for 13 train disruptions in Kyoto and Nara.
For a country who prides themselves in their to-the-dot punctuality when it comes to public transport, safe to say that this is an issue. However it seems that officials from the West Japan Railway Company and Suma Aqualife Park have come up with an ingenious way to protect these turtles without having to divert trains around them.
Basically what they have done is they have created passageways under the tracks that allows turtles to cross the tracks without the trains running over them, or forcing the trains to stop just to let them cross, thus resulting in delayed train schedules.
Speaking to The Japan Times, a JR West official was quoted as saying, “The system prevents turtles from getting into accidents and avoids causing trouble for our passengers. We hope to continue using it.” At the same time, staff will be checking these passageways every month to see if there are any trapped animals, in which they will then be sent to the aquarium. According to the numbers, 10 turtles have since been saved from a grisly death.