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Wild boar droves refuse to let Cologne dead rest in peace

A drove of wild boar have horrified cemetery workers in Cologne by overturning the earth in a grisly search for essential protein.

Wild boar droves refuse to let Cologne dead rest in peace

The hogs rooted through almost the entire Ostfriedhof cemetery in the cathedral city's Dellbrück district in a bid to unearth delicious worms.

“They've been plaguing us for weeks. They haven't spared a single plot,” one cemetery worker told Cologne's Express newspaper.

“The animals can't find good sources of protein in the woods at the moment,” Manfred Kaune, head of the city's parks department, told the Kölner Wochenspiegel.

Although the workers have tried everything from burning incense to reinforcing fences to keep the wild swine away, nothing has so far proven effective at holding back their hunt for grubs.

The last resort was to form a human chain through the cemetery, using loud noises including gunshots, banging pots and pans and shouting through a megaphone to scare the hogs back into the forest.

Even that didn't work, leaving the puzzled humans to regroup and reflect on new tactics.

Cologne's town hall website offers advice on dealing with wild boar, which “have multiplied strongly and spread into outlying areas of the city” in recent years thanks to “favourable living conditions.”

“Keep calm. Boars usually run away. Stand still, make yourself visible, don't run away but walk slowly backwards,” the advice reads. “Leave the animals an avenue of escape.”

Citizens are encouraged to call the police if a boar presents an immediate danger to the public.

Meanwhile, for securing outdoor areas against their intrusions, the city recommends an electric fence – perhaps the next upgrade for the cemetery.

SEE ALSO: 4-meter python discovered on south German road

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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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