Researchers from the Polish Society for Nature Conservation “Salamandra” caught 30 gophers that lived in the Poznań zoo. They put them in small transporters, packed provisions for the road and took them out of the zoo. – Ultimately, they will live in the wild, but at the beginning they are still protected by adaptive aviaries – says a spokeswoman for the garden.
We are talking about ground squirrels – they are small rodents that inhabit the areas of Central and Eastern Europe. In the zoo in Poznań, single individuals hibernate and reproduce. During the winter months, no one bothers them, but in the summer comes a time when researchers are arranging a move for them.
Apple, carrot and off you go
– Scientists from the Polish Society for Nature Conservation “Salamandra” caught 30 gophers here this year and on the same day they were released into the wild in the Lower Silesian Voivodeship – informs Małgorzata Chodyła, spokeswoman for the zoo.
– Before departure, each gopher was weighed, dewormed and marked. Each of them travels safely in a hay carrier – he adds. Each rodent also got a small piece of apple and carrot – provisions for the road.
After reaching the site, the ground squirrels have already been released into the forest, but for the first weeks they will still be partially protected by adaptive aviaries, i.e. small cages that will protect them from predators. All this so that they could dig a safe burrow during this time.
Ground squirrels live in colonies and their activity varies depending on the season. In the second half of summer, they usually begin to prepare for winter – each rodent will sleep it in an individual burrow. There are not many of them in Poland – European ground squirrel was considered an “extinct or probably extinct” species, therefore it is under strict protection.
Main photo source: Zoo Poznań