Berlin spending $475,000 to build frog tunnels

Despite a budget deficit that has forced the closure of kindergartens and other public services, the city of Berlin is spending $475,000 to build a series of walls and tunnels to help frogs safely cross a busy road on their way to a nearby lake.

Fifteen tunnels and a 650-yard wall to guide the amphibians toward them are under construction in Pankow, eastern Berlin.

“I’m all for protecting animals, but this really is a utopian scheme,” Guenther Brinker, head of Berlin’s taxpayer association, told the Philadelphia Daily News. “It’s a colossal waste of money.”

A $50 million budget deficit at the end of last year has forced the city government to cut costs by closing swimming pools and halting funding to other programs.

Wildlife experts say the goal of the project is to improve the safety of drivers and frogs during the amphibian’s migration season.