Shooting arrows at a bear?

Tuesday, July 31, 2007 at 3:33 | Posted in Germany | 1 Comment

Germans seem to have a sensitive relationship with bears. Last summer there was a public outcry because a bear nicknamed as Bruno was shot on orders of the Bavarian government. This spring most of Germany adored a baby polar bear called Knut who is allegedly blogging from the Berlin Zoo. In the most recent entry, Knut complains about having to bathe every day in summer time.

A summer would not have been a summer at all without another bear story reported from Germany. The police in the south western German town of Titisee-Neustadt were alerted by a hiker who reported having seen a wild bear in a forest. However, the bear turned out to be fake, according to Spiegel Online International. Spiegel quotes Titisee-Neustadt police department spokesman Dieter Klipfel as saying:

The bear turned out to be a lifesize replica positioned in a field as a target for the local archery club, which had received special permission to place him there, Klipfel said.

“Thank God we didn’t shoot him,” said Klipfel.

That is funny. I did not know that the German police are armed with bows and arrows.

Rabbits invading Helsinki

Monday, August 14, 2006 at 23:29 | Posted in Environment, Finland, helsinki | 2 Comments
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Rabbits do not belong to the natural fauna in Finland but there are thousands of them in Helsinki. According to Hufvusdstadsbladet, somebody must have released their pet rabbits, several of them, a few years ago. Baring in mind rabbits’ speedy increasing rate, those wild rabbits have become something of a annoyance in the city’s parks, gardens and cemeteries.

Unlike hare, rabbit eats almost anything. The wild rabbits in Helsinki seem to be particulary fond of violets and chrysanthemums, just the sort of flowers that you would find in a cemetery. According to Ari Pipatti, the head gardener of Hietaniemi cemetery, there are hundreds of rabbits in the graveyard eating up flowers at the graves. There were none of them just a couple of years ago.

The Ministry of Agriculture does not take the problem very seriously. Rabbit has been classified as wild game which may be hunted with a bow and arrow. The ministry is not going to allow the gardeners to use more effective means to fight those rabbits.

The rabbits have been seen in the City Garden for about five years. The head gardener Pentti Anttonen fears that mild winters may contribute to an increased rabbit population which would make it practically impossible to protect the plants in the gardens. Rabbit is cleverer than hare which can be stopped by protecting plants with a net. Rabbits just dig themselves under those nets and fences or climb over them.

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