This past week, 22-year-old Nathan Weaver from the Clemson University carried out some experiments in order to figure out a way to protect turtles from reckless drivers.
However, he soon discovered that his study's core assumption was a flawed one: the main problem wasn't that drivers somehow failed to notice the turtles and thus ended up running them over, the main problem was that certain people purposely tried to harm and even kill these animals.
Huffington Post reports that, after placing rubber turtles in the middle of the street to see how drivers would react to them, Nathan Weaver found that, out of a total of 267 people, 7 intentionally ran over the mock animals.
As if that were not enough, some did not even shy away from going out of their way just to hit the rubber turtles.
“It was a bit surprising. 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,” this 22-year-old commented with respect to his findings.
Specialists explain that, although some people might find the idea of running over a turtle a rather entertaining one, the fact remains that this impacts heavily on their population.
This is because turtles take a relatively long time to reach sexual maturity, and killing adults in this manner affects the species' ability to efficiently breed.
More so given the fact that most of the turtles that venture to cross streets and roads are females looking for a proper place where to lay their eggs.
Interestingly enough, this is not the first time when such experiments have shown that, when it comes to cruelty towards other creatures, humans really do take the lion's share.
Thus, a NASA employee recently showed that certain motorists find it enjoyable to drive their bikes over the snakes, tarantulas and other animals that cross their paths.