Jump to content



Photo

College student's turtle project takes dark twist


  • Please log in to reply
46 replies to this topic

#1 little frog

little frog
  • VibeTribe
  • 3,626 posts

Posted 28 December 2012 - 07:10 PM

College student's turtle project takes dark twist

By By JEFFREY COLLINS | Associated Press – 23 hrs ago

CLEMSON, S.C. (AP) — Clemson University student Nathan Weaver set out to determine how to help turtles cross the
road. He ended up getting a glimpse into the dark souls of some humans.
Weaver put a realistic rubber turtle in the middle of a lane on a busy road near campus. Then he got out of the way and
watched over the next hour as seven drivers swerved and deliberately ran over the animal. Several more apparently tried to
hit it but missed.
"I've heard of people and from friends who knew people that ran over turtles. But to see it out here like this was a bit
shocking," said Weaver, a 22-year-old senior in Clemson's School of Agricultural, Forest and Environmental Sciences.
To seasoned researchers, the practice wasn't surprising.
The number of box turtles is in slow decline, and one big reason is that many wind up as roadkill while crossing the asphalt,
a slow-and-steady trip that can take several minutes.
Sometimes humans feel a need to prove they are the dominant species on this planet by taking a two-ton metal vehicle and
squishing a defenseless creature under the tires, said Hal Herzog, a Western Carolina University psychology professor.
"They aren't thinking, really. It is not something people think about. It just seems fun at the time," Herzog said. "It is the
dark side of human nature."
Herzog asked a class of about 110 students getting ready to take a final whether they had intentionally run over a turtle, or
been in a car with someone who did. Thirty-four students raised their hands, about two-thirds of them male, said Herzog,
author of a book about humans' relationships with animals, called "Some We Love, Some We Hate, Some We Eat."
Weaver, who became interested in animals and conservation through the Boy Scouts and TV's "Crocodile Hunter" Steve
Irwin, wants to figure out the best way to get turtles safely across the road and keep the population from dwindling further.
Among the possible solutions: turtle underpasses or an education campaign aimed at teenagers on why drivers shouldn't
mow turtles down.
The first time Weaver went out to collect data on turtles, he chose a spot down the road from a big apartment complex that
caters to students. He counted 267 vehicles that passed by, seven of them intentionally hitting his rubber reptile.
He went back out about a week later, choosing a road in a more residential area. He followed the same procedure, putting
the fake turtle in the middle of the lane, facing the far side of the road, as if it was early in its journey across. The second of
the 50 cars to pass by that day swerved over the center line, its right tires pulverizing the plastic shell.
"Wow! That didn't take long," Weaver said.
Other cars during the hour missed the turtle. But right after his observation period was up, before Weaver could retrieve
the model, another car moved to the right to hit the animal as he stood less than 20 feet away.
"One hit in 50 cars is pretty significant when you consider it might take a turtle 10 minutes to cross the road," Weaver said.
Running over turtles even has a place in Southern lore.
In South Carolina author Pat Conroy's semi-autobiographical novel "The Great Santini," a fighter-pilot father squishes
turtles during a late-night drive when he thinks his wife and kids are asleep. His wife confronts him, saying: "It takes a
mighty brave man to run over turtles."
The father denies it at first, then claims he hits them because they are a road hazard. "It's my only sport when I'm
traveling," he says. "My only hobby."
That hobby has been costly to turtles.
It takes a turtle seven or eight years to become mature enough to reproduce, and in that time, it might make several trips
across the road to get from one pond to another, looking for food or a place to lay eggs. A female turtle that lives 50 years
might lay over 100 eggs, but just two or three are likely to survive to reproduce, said Weaver's professor, Rob Baldwin.
Snakes also get run over deliberately. Baldwin wishes that weren't the case, but he understands, considering the widespread
fear and loathing of snakes. But why anyone would want to run over turtles is a mystery to the professor.
"They seem so helpless and cute," he said. "I want to stop and help them. My kids want to stop and help them. My wife will
stop and help turtles no matter how much traffic there is on the road. I can't understand the idea why you would swerve to
hit something so helpless as a turtle."

#2 unbroken_chain

unbroken_chain
  • VibeTribe
  • 18,873 posts

Posted 28 December 2012 - 07:16 PM

next time, lets try this; put the plastic turtle in the road.

Watch to see which drivers swerve at it.

Radio your partner up the road to throw out the spike strip to the pricks.

#/thread

#3 unbroken_chain

unbroken_chain
  • VibeTribe
  • 18,873 posts

Posted 28 December 2012 - 07:17 PM

anyone who does this should be punched in the face with a brickfist.

#4 MeOmYo

MeOmYo
  • VibeTribe
  • 7,513 posts

Posted 28 December 2012 - 07:18 PM

Although I do not run over turtles, the snapping variety are tempting at times as I fear them 'round here more than snakes.

#5 Lazy Lightning

Lazy Lightning
  • VibeTribe
  • 14,236 posts

Posted 28 December 2012 - 07:21 PM

I have a rule that whenever I see a turtle on a country road, I stop and help it get across safely. One time I had to flag down a driver who was approaching really fast, and aimed directly for the turtle! When he stopped (about a foot from crushing the little guy!) he asked me if I needed help, and I pointed down in front of his car and said "No, you almost ran over that turtle!" He looked at me like I had three heads!!! :lol:

He shook his head with this confused look on his face as I picked the turtle up and put him in the grass on the other side of the road.

Here's a painted turtle I helped out a couple years back:


Posted Image

#6 unbroken_chain

unbroken_chain
  • VibeTribe
  • 18,873 posts

Posted 28 December 2012 - 07:21 PM

I love Snappers!!



They were far more frightening when I was a youngun. :rolling:



****Me too Lola... :grin:

Hell for years I even stopped and buried any roadkill I encountered

#7 JBetty

JBetty
  • VibeTribe
  • 19,981 posts

Posted 28 December 2012 - 07:23 PM

I do this too, Lola.
Just be sure to locate them on the side of the road they are heading for, and not back where they came from.

#8 MeOmYo

MeOmYo
  • VibeTribe
  • 7,513 posts

Posted 28 December 2012 - 07:23 PM

:rolling:

#9 JBetty

JBetty
  • VibeTribe
  • 19,981 posts

Posted 28 December 2012 - 07:23 PM

I love Snappers!!



They were far more frightening when I was a youngun. :rolling:



****Me too Lola... :grin:

Hell for years I even stopped and buried any roadkill I encountered




Roadkill? Is that the name you give them? :undecided:

#10 Lazy Lightning

Lazy Lightning
  • VibeTribe
  • 14,236 posts

Posted 28 December 2012 - 07:24 PM

I do this too, Lola.
Just be sure to locate them on the side of the road they are heading for, and not back where they came from.


:lol:

Def!

:spun:

#11 JBetty

JBetty
  • VibeTribe
  • 19,981 posts

Posted 28 December 2012 - 07:28 PM

Posted Image

#12 Tim the Beek

Tim the Beek
  • VibeTribe
  • 16,218 posts

Posted 28 December 2012 - 07:30 PM

Roadkill? Is that the name you give them? :undecided:


:lmao: :lol: :lmao:

#13 Tim the Beek

Tim the Beek
  • VibeTribe
  • 16,218 posts

Posted 28 December 2012 - 07:30 PM

I love you people. Serbiz.

#14 unbroken_chain

unbroken_chain
  • VibeTribe
  • 18,873 posts

Posted 28 December 2012 - 07:33 PM

Roadkill? Is that the name you give them? :undecided:


once you have that sense of intense POWER the name becomes somewhat insignificant :closes eyes and bites lower lip (hard):

#15 little frog

little frog
  • VibeTribe
  • 3,626 posts

Posted 28 December 2012 - 07:36 PM

some of the reader comments suggested nails in the rubber turtle next time around ;)

#16 unbroken_chain

unbroken_chain
  • VibeTribe
  • 18,873 posts

Posted 28 December 2012 - 09:05 PM

Posted Image


some of the reader comments suggested nails in the rubber turtle next time around ;)


well, that would suck for the blindish and purely accidental..... :lol:

#17 JBetty

JBetty
  • VibeTribe
  • 19,981 posts

Posted 28 December 2012 - 09:08 PM

Yertle

#18 Spidergawd

Spidergawd
  • VibeTribe
  • 14,701 posts

Posted 28 December 2012 - 09:25 PM

We found an Eastern Box Turtle in a bad way on the road in front of our house in Michigan. Set up a large aquarium for him and fed him crickets and veggies for about 8 months. Little guy doubled in size and was quite a character. Released him near the creek behind the house, to which I think he was heading originally.

He was a cool temporary pet, but it felt good to let him go back to the wild.

#19 Java Time

Java Time
  • VibeTribe
  • 10,114 posts
  • Locationthe Island

Posted 28 December 2012 - 09:33 PM

We found an Eastern Box Turtle in a bad way on the road in front of our house in Michigan. Set up a large aquarium for him and fed him crickets and veggies for about 8 months. Little guy doubled in size and was quite a character. Released him near the creek behind the house, to which I think he was heading originally.

He was a cool temporary pet, but it felt good to let him go back to the wild...that is until some fucking cock sucker ran him over while he was crossing the street!!! :joker:



:eek1: oh my...that's terrible

#20 Spidergawd

Spidergawd
  • VibeTribe
  • 14,701 posts

Posted 28 December 2012 - 09:36 PM

:lol:

#21 Tabbooma

Tabbooma
  • VibeTribe
  • 23,604 posts

Posted 28 December 2012 - 10:13 PM

Tabbooma has manyTurtle friends, Lola good friend of turtles too :)

#22 unbroken_chain

unbroken_chain
  • VibeTribe
  • 18,873 posts

Posted 28 December 2012 - 10:27 PM

:eek:



#23 Java Time

Java Time
  • VibeTribe
  • 10,114 posts
  • Locationthe Island

Posted 28 December 2012 - 10:31 PM

:eek:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3eMevDIpZrA


I suddenly have an urge to run over turtles...quite disturbing footage indeed.

#24 TheDHJ

TheDHJ
  • VibeTribe
  • 31,821 posts
  • LocationSouthern Colorado

Posted 28 December 2012 - 10:33 PM

Turtle meat when prepared in a Japanese kitchen is delectable.

Yiyiyiyiyi live action!!!

#25 Jim

Jim

    VibeGuide

  • VibeGuide
  • 3,796 posts

Posted 28 December 2012 - 10:45 PM

Sadly, I am no longer surprised by this kind of horrible behavior.

I once "helped/shoved" a fairly huge snapping turtle (30lbs+) that was hissing at passing traffic, across the road with the help of a snow shovel that I had stowed in my trunk... it was still very PO'd but ambled off into the brush.
We have seen 70+ pounders around here... If someone tried to run over one of those beasts they'd probably wreck their vehicle!

#26 little frog

little frog
  • VibeTribe
  • 3,626 posts

Posted 28 December 2012 - 10:57 PM

i've helped a few turtles across the street .. i really had no idea so many people find running over turtles a sport. they barely move .. superior race my ass.

#27 Jam Fan

Jam Fan
  • VibeTribe
  • 1,390 posts

Posted 28 December 2012 - 11:30 PM

need to install a tire puncturing spike inside the fake turtles.

#28 PeaceFrog

PeaceFrog
  • VibeTribe
  • 8,284 posts
  • LocationWhisky a Go Go

Posted 29 December 2012 - 01:19 AM

turtle shaped landmines would cure this problem

#29 Royal

Royal
  • VibeTribe
  • 11,824 posts

Posted 29 December 2012 - 03:50 AM

turtle shaped landmines would cure this problem


turtle shaped landmines = the next great name for a band

#30 PeaceFrog

PeaceFrog
  • VibeTribe
  • 8,284 posts
  • LocationWhisky a Go Go

Posted 29 December 2012 - 03:56 AM

:lol: :Phishfolk:

#31 TheDHJ

TheDHJ
  • VibeTribe
  • 31,821 posts
  • LocationSouthern Colorado

Posted 29 December 2012 - 04:00 AM



#32 Lazy Lightning

Lazy Lightning
  • VibeTribe
  • 14,236 posts

Posted 29 December 2012 - 04:26 PM

I picked up a snapping turtle to help it across the road once, and it stuck it's head way out and tried to bite me - I think it gained some frequent flyer miles on it's way into the ditch! :lol:

I don't mind helping, but I sure don't want to lose any of my fingers in the process! :no:

#33 u.s.blues

u.s.blues
  • VibeTribe
  • 3,424 posts

Posted 29 December 2012 - 05:37 PM

next time, lets try this; put the plastic turtle in the road.

Watch to see which drivers swerve at it.

Radio your partner up the road to throw out the spike strip to the pricks.

#/thread


i admire your inclination for vigilante justice :bigsmile:

#34 little frog

little frog
  • VibeTribe
  • 3,626 posts

Posted 29 December 2012 - 05:39 PM

it's amazing that even when he placed it out of the way people swerved to hit it, even crossed over the yellow line to aim for it. those folks deserve a flat tire.

#35 PeaceFrog

PeaceFrog
  • VibeTribe
  • 8,284 posts
  • LocationWhisky a Go Go

Posted 29 December 2012 - 07:52 PM

I had a classmate that I grew up with back in high school that would go out of his way to try and hit squirrels crossing the road.

I couldn't understand why someone would do that just for fun, and I really still can't. But as the article postulates, it must be an ego/power trip thing.

#36 sarah b.

sarah b.
  • VibeTribe
  • 74,032 posts
  • LocationRockland and Long Island, NY

Posted 31 December 2012 - 03:37 PM

it's amazing that even when he placed it out of the way people swerved to hit it, even crossed over the yellow line to aim for it.

I was quite shocked.

#37 unbroken_chain

unbroken_chain
  • VibeTribe
  • 18,873 posts

Posted 31 December 2012 - 03:51 PM

Posted Image

great. now he's PISSED

#38 MeOmYo

MeOmYo
  • VibeTribe
  • 7,513 posts

Posted 31 December 2012 - 05:30 PM

I picked up a snapping turtle to help it across the road once, and it stuck it's head way out and tried to bite me - I think it gained some frequent flyer miles on it's way into the ditch! :lol:

I don't mind helping, but I sure don't want to lose any of my fingers in the process! :no:


:lol:

I have been chased out of streams many a times while fishing by snapping turtles big enough to remove extremities. They are mean MFers

#39 TheDHJ

TheDHJ
  • VibeTribe
  • 31,821 posts
  • LocationSouthern Colorado

Posted 31 December 2012 - 05:34 PM

:lol:

I have been chased out of streams many a times while fishing by snapping turtles big enough to remove extremities. They are mean MFers


No, you were in Schenevus and that's what the women look like there!!

#40 MeOmYo

MeOmYo
  • VibeTribe
  • 7,513 posts

Posted 31 December 2012 - 05:45 PM

So that's where the Novelty women come from?



I drive through there every day....... twice..... I lock my doors though.........

#41 TheDHJ

TheDHJ
  • VibeTribe
  • 31,821 posts
  • LocationSouthern Colorado

Posted 31 December 2012 - 05:48 PM

So that's where the Novelty women come from?



I drive through there every day....... twice..... I lock my doors though.........


Schenevus, Maryland, Decatur...:lol:

Ever wonder why all of Worcester's toilets flush towards Schenevus? :lol:

#42 MeOmYo

MeOmYo
  • VibeTribe
  • 7,513 posts

Posted 31 December 2012 - 06:06 PM

I call bullshit! When did Worcester get toilets?

#43 TheDHJ

TheDHJ
  • VibeTribe
  • 31,821 posts
  • LocationSouthern Colorado

Posted 31 December 2012 - 06:08 PM

FTW. :rotf:

#44 little frog

little frog
  • VibeTribe
  • 3,626 posts

Posted 31 December 2012 - 07:12 PM

I was quite shocked.


i know there are cruel folks out there .. but this was an eye opener.

#45 unbroken_chain

unbroken_chain
  • VibeTribe
  • 18,873 posts

Posted 31 December 2012 - 07:16 PM

I mean, if you feel a "thrill" by chasing down something that travels at about 3 miles an hour.... :dunce:

#46 Ravn

Ravn
  • VibeTribe
  • 7,822 posts

Posted 31 December 2012 - 07:21 PM

Posted Image

great. now he's PISSED


That's Leonardo. I'd only worry if it was Raphael!

#47 PeaceFrog

PeaceFrog
  • VibeTribe
  • 8,284 posts
  • LocationWhisky a Go Go

Posted 31 December 2012 - 09:38 PM

I mean, if you feel a "thrill" by chasing down something that travels at about 3 miles an hour.... Posted Image


that's a good point... at least the squirrels have a chance when cars try hitting them... they're fairly nimble... what's a turtle going to do?