Kiko, you tourist guide
Kiko visits the animal recovery center in Menorca
We drive to Ciutadella, the Hostal quarries, a center that is dedicated to collecting and helping injured animals and helping them with their recovery as quick as possible to get them back on their feet.
A wounded owl
This morning they picked up a little owl alongside the road. A vehicle possibly had hit him and now it cannot fly anymore. Jaume, the veterinarian examined him and cured the wounds of one of its wings. The volunteers will take care of him until he heals.
And it will not be alone as these facilities are like a small shelter for animals who have suffered accidents. There is a hawk who has been shot, a turtle that’s shell is broken, which perhaps happened by a dog and a hedgehog that has a head wound.
In the Mediterranean there are many turtles. It is an endangered species in Europe. Montse tells me, that in Menorca there are many and when children visit them, they are reminded that they are wild species.
No, they are not dangerous, and if you see them in the orchards and in the fields, do not try to catch them. They need to live in open spaces and interact with their families.
Whilst touring through the facilities of the center, I notice a very large turtle following us. It is a turtle spurs. It is from the African desert but found in Menorca wounded on the road after being run over. Volunteers sought its owner but could not find him. It has been healed and since then, has stayed. It cannot return to its freedom because of the danger, but we notice it likes people and accompanies us throughout our walk.
Montse says there are many bird chicks that fall from the trees in summer time. Since they have not yet learned to fly, they remain very helpless and in danger of being attacked by larger animals. That´s why they help them in the center, but there are also people who take care of the newborns at home too.
Their sponsors take them home, feed them and care for them as they have been taught at the center. They give them a lot of affection, although they have been told to have little contact with the animals, so that they soon can return to their habitat, defend themselves and find their food.
Every August, Monte Toro, where we were the other day, birds fly towards freedom after recovering perfectly. Their sponsors are happy even though it means having to say goodbye to them now.
Last year they released a lot of autillos, nocturnal birds. I'm watching one. It is very soft and looks at us with wide eyes.
Montse reminds us that when these animals live in their natural habitat, as is it easier for them to heal than that their parents do it for them. Some of them were raised in villages and had fallen from their nests and needed help from this center, volunteers and sponsors to survive.
300 different bird species
Most animals here are birds. In Menorca there are about 300 different species. Some live here in the summer and others overwinter on the island. Eagles, kestrels, owls, swallows, swifts, sparrows, ....
The Center for Wildlife Recovery of Menorca prepares activities offered in the summer. One afternoon we will go and see turtles. Do you know what calàpets are? They are toads living on the island, and in the center you can find a pond that is created for them. They explain us how they are and what they like to eat.
Owls and other animals expect you this summer. About 28 years ago the Balearic Ornithological Group and center volunteers tended the wounded animals. When someone warns them about an injury, they would immediately go and help them. They would collect the animal, take him to the vet and accommodated them in the facilities until cured and can return with it friends. An Exciting job!
I have already signed myself to do the summer activities. I invite Hooky and Cuqui to teach them everything I saw today. Will you sign up for the tour? We take the opportunity to visit the quarry around the center and to learn about the animals that live here.