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Bavarian boy is Europe rabbit breeding champ

Rabbit breeding: it's not exactly a typical hobby for a ten-year-old. But for Tim Behringer, it's a way of life - and last month, the young Bavarian received an international award for his hard work.

Bavarian boy is Europe rabbit breeding champ
Photo: DPA

Tim Behringer's rabbits don't have cute names – they have numbers. And for this 10-year-old, it's no big deal when the courier comes to take one of his rabbits away.

After all, that's all part of the job.

The ten-year-old from Zirndorf, northern Bavaria, has just been crowned Europe's Youth Rabbit Breeding Champion.

Photo: DPA

With a former German Youth Champion for a father, and a Grandfather who's won every title from Club Champion to European Champion, Behringer was pretty much born into the business.

“When my Grandad was on holiday, I always had to look after the rabbits,” he told DPA.

And with between 60 and 120 rabbits in the hutches in his grandfather's garden at any one time, this was no mean feat.

So what's involved in looking after dozens of rabbits from day to day? “Food, water and giving out hay, clipping their nails and cleaning out the hutches,” Behringer listed.

Herbert Behringer introduced his grandson to the hobby.

“He always helped me a bit more in winter than in summer,” he told DPA. “Naturally, playing football with his friends came first then.”

Nonetheless, Europe's newest rabbit breeding champion makes plenty of time for his animals.

At the moment, the young Bavarian still gets help from his grandfather – but at a later date, he hopes to take over the business completely.

12,000 rabbits from 18 different countries were exhibited at this year's European Championships – which took place in the French city of Metz.

The championships were on a school day, meaning Tim himself couldn't make it – but his grandfather went along, and soon rang the young champion with the news.

“When I rang him and told him: you're the European Champion, he was really proud,” he told DPA.

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Germany’s Scheffelbrücke: Everything you need to know about the ‘world’s most expensive bridge’

Germany's Scheffelbrücke might not seem like much to look at, but by some accounts it is the most expensive bridge in the world. Here’s what you need to know.

Germany's Scheffelbrücke: Everything you need to know about the ‘world’s most expensive bridge’
The Scheffelbrücke in Baden-Württemburg isn't known for its astounding beauty or engineering prowess - but it is known for its price tag. Photo: Heinz Seehagel, Creative Commons.

If you’re travelling near the Swiss border, you might come across the Scheffelbrücke – a quiet, two-lane bridge over the Radolfzeller Aach in Baden-Württemburg. 

By bridge standards, the 20-metre concrete construction seems relatively unremarkable – until you take a look at the engraved sign on the side which quotes the price tag. 

A sign on the bridge references the incredible price of the bridge: 1,520,940,901,926,024 Deutschmarks. 

That’s 1,500 trillion marks. 

Why is the Scheffelbrücke Germany’s most expensive bridge – and why is it so drab?

While Germany has the money and the landscape to have some expensive bridges, that over the Aach hardly rivals the Golden Gate, London Bridge or Sydney Harbour for elegance or ingenuity. 

The bridge, completed in 1923, takes the name of Joseph Victor von Scheffel, a German writer who will forever be associated with the glorified concrete slab. 

While one might suspect pork barrelling or crafty accounting as a reason for the astonishing cost – or perhaps a trick to reel in the tourists to the otherwise unassuming village of Singen – the cost is in fact real.

The high price is a consequence of the out of control post-World War One inflation which hit Germany, where money almost completely lost its value. 

A sign for the bridge reveals its extortionate building costs. Photo: Heinz Seehagel, Creative Commons.

Local authorities, wanting to boost the economy, signed off on the bridge as an infrastructure project. 

As a consequence, some local workers presumably became millionaires as a consequence – although there was perhaps little meaning to the idea of being a millionaire when a billion would only buy you a concrete bridge. 

Fortunately, Germany was able to bring inflation under control and wheelbarrows full of money were no longer required to purchase basic things.

And almost a century later, when not taking wacky inflation into account, Germany’s ‘most expensive bridge in the world’ no longer has that title. 

That goes to the Oakland Bay Bridge in San Francisco (no, not the Golden Gate but the other one), which cost 6.3 billion US dollars – or roughly 5.2 billion euro  – to build. 

The Oakland Bay Bridge however goes for eight kilometres and possesses some of the aesthetic qualities which one would expect from the most expensive bridge in the world. 

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