Animal rescue

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Wild animals rescued in Torrevieja

Much publicity is given to the rescue of dogs and cats in Torrevieja but what about pythons? This is just one example of a wild animal that has had to be rescued by the town hall during 2016. Altogether there have been 32 different types of wild animals that have had to be caught and reintroduced to their actual habitats.

Other examples of rescued animals include a number of reptiles, seagulls, owls, bats, kestrels, snakes and eagles. All of these ‘wild’ animals have been rescued in urban areas and many of them are in fact protected species. The total number was announced on Friday 24th February by councillor Fanny Serrano. The number of 32 is, in fact, five more than had been saved the previous year.

The python was perhaps the most unusual of the animals to be rescued and it is likely that it had previously been a pet that was then abandoned. An eagle was also one of the more unusual animals to find their way to the Wildlife Recovery Centre of the Environment Department.

The exact number and breakdown of the rescued animals can be seen on Torrevieja’s website and includes:

  • Three snakes
  • One exotic snake – a python
  • Two mammals – a dormouse and a bat
  • 24 birds including a hawk eagle, a young owl, a common quail, ten Audouin seagulls, two yellow-legged gulls, two more gulls, a kestrel, three common swifts, a pale swift and a common cormorant
  • two swarms of domestic bees

In the case of the python, people living in la calle Hierro close to IES Mediterráneo alerted the Guardia Civil that the reptile was approaching down the road. This particular reptile is not native to the Mediterranean climate and cannot withstand the low temperatures at night. It is usually only found in a domestic context in Spain.

Seagulls feature heavily in the list of rescued animals. An Audouin gull was found with a hook in its beak during a routine ringing of some of the birds near the salt works. The bird had to be transferred to the Wildlife Recovery Centre.

Another example was a common kestrel nest with four chicks which was found on the ninth floor balcony of the Hotel Playas. An expert was able to help hotel staff to move the nest to a terrace on the building from where the parents could resume their care of the chicks.

It’s not always the experts that do the rescuing. A resident of Aguas Nuevas rescued a bat and the town hall would like to remind people that if they do find any injured specimen outside their natural space that they can contact the local police on 092 or contact the zoological centre on 670 027 853 or, if it is a marine animals, they can call 112.

Suzanne O’Connell