Police give up on kangaroo hunt

Brandenburg police have officially given up their search for an escaped kangaroo that proved too wily for them to catch after six weeks of searching.

Tagesspiegel reported on Tuesday that the marsupial had been spotted by a patrol car and briefly trapped on an industrial site, but escaped once again before its owners arrived to collect it.

Now police have decided that since the animal poses no danger, there will be no further search operations by police or their colleagues at the civil protection office (Ordnungsamt).

The kangaroo escaped at the end of November from its owner in Werder, near Potsdam, leading police, Ordnungsamt and passing drivers a merry dance before disappearing into the countryside.

Ordnungsamt officers in Werder told the newspaper that it was now the owner's responsibility to get it back.

Vets in Brandenburg said that the kangaroo should be able to survive winter away from shelter, with the primary danger to a marsupial on the loose being a road accident.

They added that without enough people armed with tranquilizer guns it would be difficult to catch him again.

SEE ALSO: Crafty kangaroo on the lose in Brandenburg

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‘Tesla isn’t above law’: Gigafactory construction near Berlin halted amid environmental concerns

US automaker Tesla was forced to suspend forest clearing for a new German plant Tuesday after environmentalists won an injunction over threats to the habitats of resident lizards and snakes.

'Tesla isn't above law': Gigafactory construction near Berlin halted amid environmental concerns
Cut down trees on the Tesla construction site. Photo: DPA

The electric vehicle giant ran into opposition from two nature conservation groups which launched urgent court action against the felling of 83 hectares (205 acres) of pine trees for its huge “gigafactory” plant at Gruenheide, south of Berlin.

READ ALSO: Birds, bats and ants evicted for new Tesla plant near Berlin

The news risks delaying the company's hopes to roll its first electric cars off the assembly line at the site in July 2021.

The administrative court in Frankfurt an der Oder told AFP it issued an interim injunction Monday “imposing a temporary halt to clearing” to allow for an examination of the case “in view of the rapid progress of the clearing work”.

A final decision on the complaint filed by the Brandenburg state chapter of the Nature and Biodiversity Conservation Union (NABU) and Green League is still pending.

Among the concerns was the destruction of habitats of protected species of sand lizards and smooth snakes in the area, or disturbing them during their winter hibernation.

“Tesla cannot and must not place itself above the law,” said Heinz Herwig Mascher, chairman of the Green League in Brandenburg, in a statement.

The site of the Tesla factory. Photo: DPA

Despite the energy-saving image of Tesla, run by eccentric billionaire Elon Musk, the plant has long been in environmentalists' crosshairs.

In February, a court temporarily halted deforestation work over the alleged impact on wildlife and concerns it might harm the drinking water supply.

Work was also stopped earlier this year as authorities defused seven World War II bombs discovered at the site.

Tesla's first site in Europe still only has provisional construction permits, and has been authorised by local officials to begin work at its own risk, pending final authorisation.

READ ALSO: Tesla to build 'world's largest' battery plant near Berlin

Tesla said the land covered under the latest injunction must be cleared to allow for pipelines and storage, according to the Tagesspiegel newspaper.

Last week, Tesla was allowed to start installing machines in the gigafactory's paintshop, with the vast factory planned to churn out 500,000 Model 3 sedans and Model Y SUVs per year.

Musk recently announced the company was looking to build the world's largest battery factory at Gruenheide alongside the car plant.