Benedek in the Animal Rescue Centre May 13, 2019
One of the interesting exhibition location of Once upon a time Castle, i.e. the Zoo's play park, is the Animal Rescue Centre. The main scene of our Zoo's rescue work. is the exhibition rescue centre, completed in last August. Visitors may not only see rescue animals here but also how the carers and vets take care of them.
The majority of one and a half to two thousand animals we receive annually are birds, the species with the most received specimens is usually the hedgehog. For example, last year we rescued 357 hedgehogs. Our current patients are always on display in the Animal Rescue Centre, and our final goal is to release them back to nature, by taking them back to their natural environment.
However, there are some standing residents in the Animal Rescue Centre: those specimens whose lives could be saved but may not be released on some ground. One of these standing residents is a hedgehog called Benedek, and it is rather timely to remember him, since today is the day of Benedek. The injured animal unfortunately lost one of his legs. On this ground, and also because he became quite tame in the meanwhile, it would not be a good idea to release him into the nature, since his survival chances would not be sufficient. Thus Benedek will remain resident of the Animal Rescue Centre. However, his friendly nature makes him suitable to let him close to visitors during the shows. Thus Benedek essentially became the ambassador of other hedgehogs and may help to bring hedgehogs closer to the heart of people. As a result, more people might be willing to get involved in the hedgehog rescue work. It is rather important since the number of hedgehogs that get into trouble upon the autumn litter burning could be decreased significantly if people paid a bit more attention. This also shows that not only the actual rescue work, but also the related awareness raising and attitude forming work may bring many benefit to nature protection. Therefore the Animal Rescue Centre also serves this purpose.
Otherwise it is not only Benedek that lives in the Animal Rescue Centre for good. The same applies to Bianka, who received her name due to her quills being a lot lighter than usual. she has all four legs but due to her tameness she can't be released in the wild. Thus she rather helps us to promote hedgehogs and their protection.
The vast majority of hedgehogs we receive typically may be rehabilitated fully. Injured hedgehogs are healed back to health, weak ones strengthened and orphans raised. And if it goes all well, we take them back to their natural habitat.
The building and functioning of the Hedgehog Hospital is financed by the European Regional Development Fund and supported by the ZOO4NAT project which is part of the Interreg Slovakia-Hungary Cooperation Program.