Sep 15, 2005
PRAGUE (AFP) - A Czech town has built a 10,000-euro (12,000 dollar) bridge to protect a handful of squirrels from a busy road, without knowing if they will use it.
The seven-metre (23-foot) high cable bridge attached to two trees spans a road that divides a large park in the town of Sokolov in the west of the country, near the German border.
"We think this construction is unique in the world. I myself witnessed two dead squirrels on the road in the space of two months and I felt we had to do something," Sokolov mayor Karel Jakobec told AFP Thursday.
At the moment the park is home to just three squirrels.
"The idea is that instead of going down trees and crossing the road to get to the other side of the park the squirrels will go up and across. But we don't know yet if it will work," he added.
Most of the 290,000 koruna (9,920 euro) cost was met from a grant by Czech brewer Staropramen as one of 10 grants it awarded for ecological projects in the country. The remaining 40,000 koruna was funded by the town council.
"We have already arranged for two more pairs of squirrels to be brought from an animal rescue centre and we are hoping that the squirrel population in the park will now grow," added Jakobec.
Squirrels are a protected species in the Czech Republic.