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Treating toads like princess, their journeys to pursue

Some of the roads in the provinces of Utrecht and South Holland have sprouted some unusual signs lately. The signs have toads on them. In the spring, toads in these provinces follow their mating instincts and make a long jo urney from their winter homes to breeding grounds. Part of that journey requires crossing a few busy roads. So some of those roads now have triangular- shaped signs with the silhouette of a toad and the Dutch equivalent of "toad crossing" written below.

In places where the toad crossings are more frequent, as in parts of South Holland, some roads are closed in the evenings during the few weeks in spring when the toads are traveling.

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In other parts of the provinces, volunteers have been using lengths of netting to direct the toads into special buckets. They are then carried to the other side of the road, where the journey continues.

Eventually, officials would like to build special passage-ways under the roads so that with the netting to direct them, the toads could safely cross the roads on their own.

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