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Dead Turtles on Alligator Alley

The shoulders of Interstate-75 near Snake Road are lined with dead turtles.

You might have noticed an unfortunate scene driving through Interstate-75, otherwise known as Alligator Alley:

Turtles dead on the side of the road.

“The turtles are moving as the water levels go down,” explained Dr. Bill Hammond at the Calusa Nature Center, “They’re drawn to the canals and the system there.”

“This is the time of year a lot of animals are on the move,” he explained, “And the highway is, of course, a barrier to their success.”

Dr. Hammond said the turtles are often looking for nesting.

“What we ask most highway people to do is at least put a low fence in,” said Dr. Hammond.

A university in Canada studied this issue. It found that effective fences helped guide turtles toward safe passages and away from highways.

The executive director at the Calusa Nature Center, Larry Aguilar, recommends doing one thing to avoid hurting any turtles.

“You just gotta slow down a bit,” he advised.

Dr. Hammond added that if you find a turtle struggling, you can bring it to a rehab center. He said CROW Clinic had helped rescue turtles like this before. However, he does not recommend you stop when driving on a fast moving highway like Alligator Alley.

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