23:48 GMT +3 hours27 November 2014
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Estonian animal protection group fights for snakes' rights over golf course

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The Estonian Society for the Protection of Animals and a group of serpentologists have slammed plans to build a golf course in Estonia's capital as it may threaten the lives of vipers and grass snakes.

The Estonian Society for the Protection of Animals and a group of serpentologists have slammed plans to build a golf course in Estonia's capital as it may threaten the lives of vipers and grass snakes.

Tallinn authorities announced plans to build a golf course on the outskirts of the capital at Paaskula swamp. The animals protection group and serpentologists say the construction would destroy the swamp's ecosystem and harm the animals living in that environment.

The specialists said the project may also endanger frogs and lizards, as well as some rare plants.

"The Tallinn authorities in making the decision to build in the snakes' 'home,' have sentenced them [the snakes] to death," Heiki Valner from the animals protection group said, adding that the snakes would find a new home in the gardens of city residents and sooner or later would be killed.

Serpentologist Kadri Vyrel said snakes, including venomous ones, would in the future consider the golf course their new home and conflicts between reptiles and humans would be unavoidable.