Wild boars on the beach or a disoriented vulture walking through the heart of Madrid. These are unusual scenes that have recently become increasingly common in and outside Spain. But, why are more and more wild animals leaving their natural habitat?
This summer it happened more than once that wild animals walked among the people. Earlier this month, a wild vulture got lost in the centre of Madrid and a wild boar took a dip off the coast of Málaga in mid-August. Furthermore, boars were also spotted on the beach at Alicante and on a terrace in Girona.
Human occupation and climate change culprits for wildlife
According to a spokesperson for the Institute for Biodiversity and the Environment at the University of Navarra, more and more wild animal species are seeking shelter, water or food outside their own environment. The main reason for this is that humans are taking up more and more of their natural space and because of climate change.
Furthermore, researchers from Ecologistas and Acción share this vision. “Either we humans occupy their ecosystems or the lack of water and food in their own systems is causing the animals to try to fulfill their primary needs elsewhere.”
40% more wild animals rescued in the past 10 years in Spain
In the animal hospital GREFA, the number of admissions of rescued animals has increased by 40% over the past ten years. “Many of them come in dehydrated and haven’t eaten for days. Clearly a consequence of climate change,” says one of the doctors there.
The same was the case with the vulture that roamed Madrid three weeks ago. He was disoriented, malnourished and could barely fly. However, thanks to the guidance of the Spanish police, the animal was safely housed at the animal shelter to recuperate.
Agentes de la Unidad de #Centro Norte realizan un corte de tráfico para que la #UMA rescate con #seguridad a un #buitre que se encontraba agotado y desorientado.
Es trasladado a @buhos_Brinzal para su recuperación.#BravoCompañeros 👏👏👏👏👏👏#PMM pic.twitter.com/1aFwVqXt7i
— Policía Municipal de Madrid (@policiademadrid) August 3, 2022
Cycle not broken yet
According to experts consulted by RTVE.es, this problem will only get worse in the coming years. To date, we have not succeeded in slowing down global warming. In recent decades, various food chains have also been broken by humans, leaving animals without basic necessities for life.