Slow down for wild animals out on the road

Every year around this time, there are little bodies of turtles, baby skunks, raccoons strewn about our roads. Crushed, run over, stomped on and, even in some cases, people had run over them on purpose.

Two turtles were stomped on by someone going to get their mail in the mailbox. I once saw an entire family of raccoons run over. A male, a female, and five little babies. All killed by one driver who did not care to stop. Did not care to slow down.


Last week, I was westbound and saw a very large snapping turtle trying to make its way across M-32. It was three-fourths into the eastbound lane and vehicles were driving around or over it. I stopped my vehicle, stopped traffic and put the 35-pound animal in the back of my Jeep to take it to a safer location. This turtle was easily over 100 years old. Just a small turtle, about 8 inches, I found the other day, was 45 years old, give or take a few years.

In 2013, a Clemson senior used a rubber turtle to test why people purposely run over these dwindling species. He placed a rubber turtle in the road near the campus. Within the hour, 267 cars purposely ran over the little rubber turtle. Why?

Are we so wrapped in our own lives that we fail to notice a frail female turtle loaded with eggs in the middle of the road who is just trying to fulfill what mother nature has ingrained into her DNA? Could we not just slow down a bit and do the right thing when it comes to saving generations of wild animals? Without them, we are surely smaller as a people.




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