France, 22 Mai 2017 Spring in all its glory
Enjoy! (NB these deer are being filmed with a hidden camera. The animals are not disturbed.)
France, 22 April 2017 World Day of Animals in Laboratories
Today we participated to a Happening for the World Day of Animals in Laboratories in Nantes (West of France). France has a record of animals used for research in the EU. Not many people are aware of this. Some wonderful people walked by, who signed the petitions, asked questions, and wished us luck in this fight for the rights of animals in laboratories, and of course the end of the use of animals for research. There is more and more evidence that animal testing is not necessary at all.
The other day I spent too much time in the morning and afternoon not moving around, so instead of being able to complete my target with 9kms I needed to do over 10. Luckily there's a loop that's about 800m long that can be added to my usual walk, although I haven't been down it for yonks. So after my basic circuit, I took the loop which is a path shaded by trees: nice and cool and just what I needed with that day's blazing sun. In one place, there was a small gap in the foliage of the trees that allowed the sun's rays to penetrate and create a roughly circular bright spot about six or seven inches across. Slap bang in the middle of this patch of sunlight was a curled up hedgehog no bigger than the palm
of my hand. "That's not good," I thought. Seeing a hedgehog in day time is unusual and normally means something is amiss. In addition, a hedgehog "sunbathing" is probably suffering from hypothermia.
I looked more closely. He didn't respond to a gentle prod and seemed to be breathing too rapidly and shallowly. Definitely not a good sign. So I took off my tee-shirt, wrapped him in it and took him home. Once home I weighed him: 272 grams, which is a bit light. I then put him in a cage with a hot water bottle and gave him a dose of Stronghold for kittens to kill his fleas and other parasites. I also put some cat food in the cage and left him alone.
After a while I came back I noticed that he had crawled onto the hot water bottle. A few hours later when I came to renew the hot water bottle he was a bit more lively and was exploring the cage, but he hadn't eaten.
The next morning his food was still untouched and he was sneezing and coughing, so we contacted the vet and made an appointment.
Wearing massive, thick leather gauntlets, the vet extracted Spikey from his little box and tried to examine him. He was not too thrilled at the prospect so curled up tightly. Eventually he opened up enough for her to see that there was something wrong with one of his eyes, so she decided to knock him out with gas in order to examine him freely. Once he was unconscious, we were able to see that his left eye had been pushed out of its socket and had shrivelled up. This may have been caused by a glancing blow from a bicycle. No matter what the cause, his eye had to be removed and the wound stitched up. So while the vet wielded the needle and thread, I held the tube supplying the gas and Marit took some
After a shot of antibiotics and an analgesic and a whiff of oxygen to wake him up we took Spikey home and put him back in his cage with some fresh food and water. We were still a bit concerned because he hadn't eaten for so long. Much to our delight, after lounging around on his heated water bed most of the afternoon, Spikey woke up in the evening full of beans. He wandered around the cage and even did some pull ups on the bars before eventually stumbling across the cat food. This he attacked with much gusto, enabling us to heave a huge sigh of relief. It looks like he's on the mend!