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Smooth move: Hibernating SNAKES disrupt construction of Tesla factory in Germany

Smooth move: Hibernating SNAKES disrupt construction of Tesla factory in Germany
Construction of a Tesla gigafactory outside Berlin has ran into an unexpected problem, after a German court ordered land clearing works to stop over concerns they might disrupt the rest of snakes hibernating through winter.

The stop was ordered by an administrative court in Frankfurt an der Oder on Tuesday. According to a spokesman for the court, the Landesumweltamt (Germany’s environmental authority) and Tesla are now holding consultations.

The concerns over the forest felling and land clearing for the future factory were raised by a local environmentalist group, NABU. The activists alleged that the works would disturb the winter hibernation of the smooth snake, also known as Coronella austriaca. The serpents nap through the cold weather in trees and underground.

The authorities are also reviewing claims that the construction works may harm sand lizards, also known as Lacerta agilis, which are said to be dwelling at the site.

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While the electric car-making giant planned to have the factory up and running by July 1 next year, this deadline might shift if it has to wait until the snakes take a good nap. The construction of the factory, set to become the first Tesla-making facility in Europe, has run into troubles over environmental concerns before.

Back in October, for instance, the works were stopped over water use by the factory, with locals fearing it would drain their own water resources dry. The works resumed after Tesla pledged to cut the factory’s water consumption by more than half, from 3.3 million cubic meters to 1.4 million cubic meters.

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