The first Eco Bridge at road crossing for reptiles in India
By Amila Khan
Forest officials in India’s high mountainous state of Uttarakhand have built a bridge to prevent the premature death of reptiles and other small animals crossing busy highways through the forest.
The 90-foot-long bridge, which made of bamboo, jute, and grass, is named ‘Eco Bridge’; this is the first such bridge claimed by the Indian media.
On the way to Nainital, a popular tourist destination in Uttarakhand, India, many reptiles and other animals kill when they crushed under a speeding car on this road. Officials are now planting vines and grass to attract animals towards the bridge, the BBC reported.
Chandra Shekhar Joshi, a state forest official, told the BBC: “Many reptiles and other animals died when they fell under tourist vehicles on this highway.”
He added that officials had placed cameras on both sides of the bridge to monitor whether animals are moving through it or not.
Now the bridge has become a tourist attraction. While passing under it, many tourists stop their cars and take pictures of the bridge and take selfies leaving the bridge behind. The Uttarakhand Forest Department hopes that the bridge will soon be able to attract animals as well.
Another forest official in the state told Indian Express newspaper, “This is one of the deepest forests in India. Large animals like elephants, leopards, deer, wild cows also move through this area.
Drivers can see them from a distance and slow down or stop their cars, but drivers rarely do so for snakes, chameleons, water monitors, or squirrels.
Forest officials in the state are hopeful that the bridge will help save the lives of small animals and reptiles in the area and create awareness among them, as well as help them get used to it.