CLEMSON, S.C. — Clemson University student Nathan Weaver just wanted to put together a project to help figure out the best way to assist turtles in crossing the road.
But he also ended up with a peek into the dark souls of some human beings.
Weaver put realistic-looking rubber turtles, no bigger than a saucer, in the middle of a lane on a busy road near campus. Over the next hour, seven drivers intentionally ran over the turtle, and several more appeared to try to hit the defenseless animal, but missed.
Weaver was surprised, but seasoned researchers weren’t. The number of box turtles is on a slow decline, with one prominent reason being the riskiness of crossing the road when the trip takes several minutes.