Frogs hop on for a piggyback ride between two provinces
KÜTAHYA - Anatolia News Agency
Drivers in Turkey can see hundreds of frogs on each others’ shoulders in the Kocayayla part of the Domaniç-İnegöl highway. AA photoFrogs migrating in groups from forest to river between the Aegean province of Kütahya’s Domaniç and the northwestern province of Bursa’s İnegöl districts every year to mate carry each other on their shoulders when they reach the highway. According to scientists, this has been continuing for 5,000 years.
Hitting the road at night in the spring months of April and May, frogs are seen in various parts of the world just like in Turkey. In some countries, highways are closed to traffic for some time for frogs trying to reach a river from the forest.
Drivers in Turkey can see hundreds of frogs on each others’ shoulders in the Kocayayla part of the Domaniç-İnegöl highway from the beginning of the spring.
Scientific research has revealed that frogs cross the road separately in other countries but they carry each other on their shoulders only in Turkey’s Domaniç and İnegöl. Most of these frogs manage to reach the river, but some of them die because of careless drivers.
The frog knots, which are mostly seen in Kocayayla every year in the middle of April, hit the roads earlier this year.
Work to prevent their deaths
Domaniç District Gov. Mehmet Boztepe said they had initiated work to prevent the frogs from being killed while crossing the Domaniç-İnegöl highway. He said many frogs died every year in the migration process. “We will place signboards on the highway warning people about the frogs. We are also looking for an alternative passage to change the flow of traffic.”
Boztepe said the different and remarkable frogs were valuable for Domaniç and locals were very sorry to see them killed during their migration.
In 2010, during archaeological excavations in Seyitömer Tummulus, which is 25 kilometers from the center of Kütahya, a team under the head of Kütahya Dumlupınar University Faculty of Science and Letters Archaeology Department Professor Nejat Bilgen found a rhyton depicting one young frogs on the shoulders of an adult frog.
Bilgen, who had been unable explain the shape of the 5,000-year-old rhyton, reached this interesting conclusion when he examined the photos of frogs on the Dominiç-İnegöl highway that were published in a local newspaper in 2011.
He realized the figure was related to the immigration of frogs in spring months. “I have obtained the information that frogs were regarded as holy beings by people living in the region in the past. And they produced rhytons with this idea.” Bilgen said piggyback migration was unique to this region only and did not exist in any other part of the world.