Snakes and lizards are complicating construction of a Tesla assembly plant in Germany that already is reportedly at least six months behind schedule.
Two environmental groups have asked a court to make Tesla relocate a population of endangered 10-inch sand lizards that live on the site as well as some 30-inch adders that prey on the lizards and are considered a threatened species. The same groups already have successfully reduced the number of trees Tesla can cut down for the $7 billion plant.
"Not everything can be done at Tesla speed," Christiane Schröder, the regional head of one group, the Nature Protection Federation of Brandenburg, told The New York Times.
Tesla also has faced opposition from a small group of citizens who have frequently written complaints to local officials and called the police over what they believe to be ordinance or environmental violations.
One member of the group, 61-year-old former union organizer Manuela Hoyer, was arrested for trespassing on the factory site, though the charges were dropped.
"When the second-richest man in the world shows up, they roll out the red carpet and give him everything he asks for," Hoyer said. "That really is a crime, not just against the environment but also against the population here."
The report said Tesla itself is partly responsible for the plant's slow progress, having revised its building permit application at least 15 times.