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Wildlife road bridge in Singapore, not the Netherlands

A meme with a photo of a wide bridge over a road, covered in trees and other vegetation, has been shared on Facebook in South Africa.

“Holland put 600 bridges like this, to help animals cross the routes,” the text reads. “Applause for the Netherlands.”

According to National Geographic, roadways through wild areas often block the migration of animals. Several countries have come up with solutions that include wildlife under- and overpasses.

But does the meme’s photo show one of 600 bridges built in the Netherlands to help wild animals across roads? We investigated.

Eco-Link bridge in Singapore

A reverse image search on TinEye returned an article on Mongabay, a US news site focused on environmental science, energy and green design.

The article shows a photo of the same bridge from a different angle, credited to the National Parks Board, Singapore.

According to the article, the bridge is part of the Eco-Link project to allow critically endangered animals such as the lesser mouse deer cross from one wilderness area into another, without the risk of the animals being hit by vehicles on the road.  

Singapore’s parks board says the bridge also serves to “restore the ecological connection between two nature reserves, allowing wildlife to expand their habitat, genetic pool and survival chances”.

Netherlands does have wildlife bridges, but not 600

Wageningen University and Research, a public research university in Wageningen, the Netherlands, says the country has constructed wildlife bridges, each known as an “ecoduct”.

These overpass bridges “allow animals to cross a road”, the university says. “In the Netherlands, wildlife bridges are part of the national network of protected areas.”

The Netherlands currently has “30 wildlife bridges, with the build of another 20 planned”. – Taryn Willows


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