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Thousands of lizards bring German rail project to halt - and cost of $16.3m

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Staff Writer | May 11, 2017
Two threatened species of lizards are getting in the way of a long-delayed railroad project in southern Germany, the Guardian reports.
Germany lizard
Transportation   A long-delayed railroad project in southern Germany
The Stuttgart 21 rail project has repeatedly been delayed due to spiraling costs and debates over environmental concerns and viability.

This time, thousands of sand and wall lizards have been discovered along the route.

Resettling the reptiles could cost about €15 million ($16.3 million), according to Deutsche Bahn.

The German railway company is one of the main players behind the project and said it has budgeted up to €4,000 to move each creature.

The company has called in experts to catch the lizards in nets and relocate them to a new home in Untertürkheim, six miles from the current habitat. Monitoring the lizards’ well-being is included in the budget.

The reptiles were discovered at a construction site for the new line between Stuttgart and Ulm.

They have already delayed the project for 18 months, sparking a new conflict between conservationists and constructors, a project spokesman told the paper.

The high cost of the lizard relocation is the result of Deutsche Bahn failing to address the problem earlier, according to animal rights campaigners.

The presence of the reptiles is said to have been known for two years.