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Tunnel system on Portage County highway helps to save turtles

NOW: Tunnel system on Portage County highway helps to save turtles

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STEVENS POINT, Wis. (CBS 58) -- A Biology Professor at UW-Stevens Point and the State DOT are being credited with saving the lives of hundreds of turtles.

Six years ago, there was a huge problem on a Portage County highway. Turtles were getting killed crossing the road to reach a pond.

While the road was being reconstructed in 2013, the professor created a tunnel system for the turtles to go under the highway.

Turtle deaths have been reduced from nearly 60 a year before the tunnel to about 10 a year now.

"In a sense, an experimental site for the state to try out different ideas for how these kind of projects can be applied in future for when problems like this come up again," said Pete Zani, Biology Professor, UWSP.

Not only does the tunnel save turtles, it also reduces the number of them on the highway which is a significant risk to drivers. 

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