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Finland: in the animal world

Финляндия: в мире животных

In Finland there are practically no homeless cats and dogs. They were replaced by deer, elk, rabbits, and raccoons, which meet almost if not more than their neighbors on the porch

Many years ago, long before moving to Finland, I read in a Russian newspaper article about a Finnish rabbit. It was the usual decorative rabbit, which the owner issued a walk in a specially designed paddock in the yard.
Show completely… Rabbit grazing, breathed fresh air and enjoyed life, but it was just the hostess five minutes to go in the house to answer a phone call or maybe foam from the broth to remove as it was raining and he got wet. Neighbors noticed that the rabbit unattended is subjected to inhuman suffering, and called the police. As a result, the landlady was fined for the mistreatment of animals and threatened the next time the rabbit away, and she herself is already more thoroughly to prosecute.

Don’t know how true was this particular story, but now I understand that it could happen. Interests Pets in Finland zealously protect: this attitude can be the envy of many people. For example, our Finnish friends almost lost the opportunity to buy their chosen puppy because the breeder found out that they went to a different nursery. The breeder seemed like heini and Jarno not sure that I want to take this puppy, and that can be bad owners. Had to put a lot of effort to prove otherwise. Of course, the puppy was worth more than one hundred euros.

Pets in Finland — do homework: if in a provincial town or in the countryside you can still see the cat that walks by himself — in a red collar with a bell in Helsinki stray dogs and cats not in principle. Back in the eighties there began a massive program of sterilization of homeless animals, and they did not leave behind offspring. To release the “run” or the more throw away animals not accepted, and in the case of sudden death of the lonely master’s dog or cat go immediately to the shelter.

But, as you know, a Holy place is never empty. Where there are stray Pets in the arena go wild.

Who’s the boss
Familiarity with the Finnish fauna for most visitors begins with gulls. If you never run from a fat Seagull that tries to snatch you from the hands of the remnants of a sandwich, then consider, in Helsinki and was not. Just settling in Finland, I realized that the ads asking people not to feed the birds power port towns hung on every corner not just — and not even in order to ruin a vacation compassionate tourists, whose heart bleeds at the sight of hungry seagulls.


And the locals will have to deal with the aftermath: as soon as the gulls cease to be afraid of people, they turn into a disaster. Annoying trying to beg or take food by the poor. They attack children and dogs, gutted trash cans, throwing on the sidewalk and throwing off in the sea, cups of coffee and candy wrappers. And once I personally had a chance to feel main character of Hitchcock’s Birds.

It was in early summer. Seagulls just brought the Chicks — including in the nest on the roof of block chetyrehyarusny Helsinki, where I lived. Gradually, the Chicks have learned to fly and from time to time fell out of the nest. Raise them back to the parents did not work, so they remained only one thing: terrorizing people who had the audacity to pass a few metres from the grey, squeaking ball of feathers on the way home. Well, how to pass — rather, run.

And then came the day when a chick was right in front of my porch. I’m not sure that my life was more terrifying moments. I rushed through the yard, and I dived two large aggressive birds trying to grab my hair and get beaks to faces. Good thing I came back with the mail and was carrying a flat cardboard box — have something to fight. To the apartment I got almost no losses, but the grandmother, who tripped over me in another entrance, quite possibly, fell death of the brave.

On the other hand, this spring in the Japanese city of kamakura I saw the girl was attacked by a hawk: he really wanted, so she gave him ice cream. So there are birds and seagulls terrible.

Moose-murderers and bears-rods

However, ruin your life in Finland can not only gulls, but also moose. No, of course they are beautiful, noble animals, and their large, heavy heads with long lips got kind of sad charm. But when a moose suddenly emerges from the woods onto the road right in front of your car, think about the greatness of nature once: you need to quickly figure out how to escape. Will it not damage the machine — a question the tenth.

Annually in Finland is about one and a half thousand accidents involving moose. Some of them — with a deadly outcome for the animal and for people. An adult moose can weigh up to seven kilos, so bumping into him is like at full speed to enter the stone. Thus, even if you were not injured to leave the scene of an accident do not: necessarily need to call the police to the wounded animal could be of assistance. Or to take the road dead. The latter is particularly outraged by my Russian friends, saying that if you hit a deer, then moose is your prey. Why you can’t take it, numerosity meat all winter and eat dumplings with the elk?

Lone elk was inhabited even in a tiny fishing line literally a mile mile — next to the house where we first lived. However, much more often I saw deer in small flocks they ran across the road almost every day while I in the morning waiting for the bus. Let me remind you that our house was not in wilderness, and a twenty minute drive from Central Helsinki.

Rabbits, raccoons, raccoon dogs, foxes, I don’t think exotic: they (or the fruits of their life) caught the eye constantly. Although hares, I must admit, at first frightened, especially when I met them in the evenings in the city, on the playgrounds or at the skate parks. In the dark they looked like strange, like a warped genetic mutation dogs.


Anyway, this spring, the police spotted a bear that came out of the woods and went fishing in Espoo, a satellite city of Helsinki. Catch him immediately failed, and residents were asked to exercise increased vigilance. To walk the streets, looking in the bushes brown bear face — so-so fun. Especially for a person who grew up in the concrete jungle of Moscow.

Don’t say “flying squirrel”!

It should be borne in mind that Finns do not only care about wild animals, try not to destroy their habitats at an early age and teach children how to behave if you met a moose or raccoon caught in the destruction of the dumpster, but find ways to benefit from this neighborhood. Indicative in this sense, the case occurred five years ago, when my friends came to visit my future husband and decided to dine on the street: most of the Finnish courts there are barbecue areas with benches, table and grill.

It was getting dark, the Windows in the houses went out one after the other, and the silence was such that you could hear the rotating blades are mounted on one of the balconies. So when it between the trunks of pine trees suddenly darted a small, nimble shadow, we first was in a funk. For a cat she didn’t look too nimble and light, on an ordinary squirrel, too: too square. Only when the shade came down lower, it became clear that our night visitor — a flying squirrel.


But friends-Finns, we were told about this unexpected meeting, is not happy. On the contrary: he waved his arms, shushed and strongly advise anyone else not to talk about the flying squirrel. And generally not to utter the word “flying squirrel”. Well, note that this can lead to serious consequences.

It turns out that flying squirrels are recognized in Finland, particularly protected species. And if the place where they build a house, or perhaps a new road, there is a population of flying squirrels, the construction is either stopped altogether, or frozen — as long as all animals are not relocated without the damage in a specially created reservation. For developers, of course, inconvenient and costly, but what to do: rules are rules.

But in recent years people began to notice that flying squirrels suspiciously often appear in places where they begin to erect a shopping center or a large residential neighborhood, which clearly violate measured, secluded lifestyle, especially the cute Finns over the age of fifty years. And there is reason to suspect that some savvy old man (or old) no-no and will are caught in the forest a lone flying squirrel to move her closer to the construction: would work.

There are some examples of symbiotic relationships cited in biology textbooks? Clown fish and sea anemone? Aphids and ants? It’s time to add to the list another pair, flying squirrel and Finn.

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