Reptiles and small animals in the Northern state of Uttarakhand in India will hopefully have an easier time crossing the street. That’s all thanks to the work of the forest officials who undertook the task of crafting a 90-foot eco-friendly bridge across the the Kaladhungi-Nainital Highway, a construction measure which hopes to minimize the loss of wildlife during tourist seasons on the busy road.
The Eco Bridge was built as green as possible, purposefully avoiding construction materials like iron or cement. Instead, the officials used bamboo, rope, and grass, carefully building a 5-foot wide, 40-foot-high wildlife-only bridge over the course of 10 days. Signage informs passersby to avoid the bridge, and tourists are discouraged from taking selfies or attempting to climb it through regular staff patrols.
Uttarakhand: An elevated eco-bridge built across a highway in Kala Dungri range of Ramnagar Forest Division to save reptile species from being killed by vehicles
Forest Dept Official says, "This eco-bridge is 90 ft long & 5 ft wide. It's made from bamboo, rope & grass." pic.twitter.com/7yrcKxTqHi
— ANI (@ANI) December 1, 2020
Larger animals like elephants, deer, and leopards regularly pass through the area and across the highway as well, but drivers can more easily spot them and will usually slow down or stop their vehicle to allow safe passage. The lack of comparable visibility for snakes, lizards, and squirrels is what causes so many of them to die under the wheels of passing cars, which is why these critters now have their own private walkway.
Creeper vines, grass, and leaves will be placed and grown around the bridge in hopes to attract reptiles and inspire them to use it regularly. As it stands, it’s still a little too early to spot these creatures frequenting the Eco Bridge – and a well-placed webcam would be an amazing addition to prompt greater awareness – but the new eco-friendly installation has the best interests of wildlife in mind.