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Rick finds her dead fawn in a meadow

Rick finds her dead fawn in a meadow

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from: Norbert Mueller

Despite offers of help to farmers, baby deer continue to die while mowing lawns. “The cry of the animal goes through the marrow and the leg,” says one farmer.

Altenstädt – There shouldn’t be more photos like this: A doe stands in a freshly mowed meadow near the Altenstädt and sniffs on her fawn, which has been raked by a lawnmower. The photos and a video, Old City resident Martina Wachter says, took them on Sunday. “In the morning we cut. The doe was in the meadow several times in the afternoon, right where her nail lay.” Until Wednesday evening, the ranger saw the mother deer again at the spot.

Drones help hunt for endangered animals

Martina Wächter is a member of the Rehkitzrettung Nordhessen association, and whenever she has time, she goes out to the meadows at sunrise in the morning, which the association teams are currently flying over with drones equipped with thermal imaging cameras. The group led by Oelshausen Chairman Florian Bian operates on a voluntary basis and does not even ask for money from farmers, who are required by the provisions of the Animal Welfare Act to be diligent and do everything they can to ensure that they do not get a moose. in mower.

When a fake rescue team uses the drone to locate antelopes in the tall grass, they are carefully placed into special rescue boxes that are securely placed at the edge of the area until the mowing is complete. Immediately after that, the young deer are returned to this meadow. It couldn’t be easier or safer.

Taken with mobile phone: Martina Wächter showing Chairman of the Board of Directors of Kitzrettung Nordhessen e. V. Florian Bayan Her photograph of a doe she finds clipped fawn on a meadow. © Norbert Müller

Knowledge ‘has not yet reached all farmers’

In Altenstädt, there was no demand from the peasant to rescuers in Kitz, Florian Bian says. Nor has the mowing plan been reported to the Altenstadt district tenant or the responsible game manager, says game warden David von Knebel. Because then the Kitz rescuers would have been brought on board. “It is not yet known how to act correctly to all farmers,” says von Nibel. He later speaks to the farmer who explains to him that he was walking in the garden before he was mowed.

However, Johannes Gerhold of the Kassel Region Growers’ Association also knows how difficult it is to spot a fawn walking through the tall grass. The graduate agronomist knows the problem from his experience as a farmer. When you walk through it, he says, you can barely see the shadows on the grass, even if you’re standing right next to it.

“The cry of the beast runs through the marrow and bone.”

However, Zierenberger is sure that the majority of farmers are aware of their responsibility to animals when mowing green spaces and act accordingly. “Those who don’t care are the exception. They tend to marginalize themselves by doing nothing,” says Gerhold. “As a farmer, you get angry because you’re grouped with these black sheep.”

Gerhold mentions another aspect of why negligence in this area may be the exception: “There is nothing more cruel to someone who clips a fawn, because the high-pitched cry of an animal runs through marrow and bone. No one wants to experience that a second time.”

Once to safety: Martina Wächter puts a dummy found by a drone into a rescue box temporarily placed outside the meadow.
Once to safety: Martina Wächter puts a dummy found by a drone into a rescue box temporarily placed outside the meadow. © Private

If he takes his home region – Zierenberg and Habichtswald – as an example, he can say that hunting tenants and hunting cooperatives, along with farmers, do a lot there to ensure the safety of newly released deer. He names the devices that are attached to the area the evening before mowing and the sound startles them with a loud shriek, motivating them to bring their offspring out of the area.

Mowing time windows put a huge pressure on farmers

Also purchased were portable devices that clip on to the tractor or mower and send children to flight with their annoying high-frequency sound, which, however, only works for older children. The instinct to fly is not yet present in young elk. Some renters now also own drones with thermal imaging cameras, which Gerhold says is the “safer option” when it comes to tracking elk on the green.

“The size of the area and the small time window for mowing creates a huge pressure on farmers,” says Stephanie Whitkam, agricultural officer with the District Farmers Association. However, she also stresses: “I feel an increased sensitivity among farmers.” But she also maintains that it is not 100 percent impossible for children to be overlooked and mowed down, “no matter which method one chooses. However, the worst way is to do nothing at all.” This is why the association frequently emails members information “to do something, particularly in endangered areas near the forest.”

200 elk saved this year

In any case, the Kitzrettung Nordhessen, in cooperation with farmers and fishing charters, is already very successful to report, although the operating season, which runs from the end of April to the end of June, is not over yet. In 21 days of operation, says Chairman Florian Bian, up to three teams have rescued around 200 cows in the area this year and flown 1,200 hectares. You could have taken part in the meadow in Altenstädt without much effort. (Norbert Mueller)

Last year, hunters also helped hunt for elk in the fields.