Ibex Skull

My cousin found this female ibex skull during hunting season. IMG_4545 IMG_4546 IMG_4547 IMG_4548 IMG_4549 IMG_4552

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Duck Chasing Adventure

Kali doesn’t swim. Usually. We made quite some progress in that regard, but she still doesn’t like to go into water deeper than her chest.

Unless there’s ducks, apparently.

This is the same couple of ducks that spent the whole winter around our village, I named them Anja and Vlad. When Kali saw them, she ran into the river, where it was rather wide and thus shallow. IMG_1788

When they took off, she found herself alone on the other side of the river. When I called her, she didn’t come, so we took off walking to a nearby bridge.

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Unfortunately for Kali, the bridge was taken away just the day before, to prevent it from being distroyed by the high water we get each spring when the snow melts.

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So after all this, she still had to cross the river again on her own.

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Chamois

At the hunting fair they also showed everyone interested how to gut a chamois.

This female chamois was shot the day before (out of season) because she had infectious keratoconjunctivitis, what we call chamois blindness. It’s a highly infectious eye disease that affects sheep, goats, chamois & ibex and results in blindness and ultimately death. The pathogen which causes chamois blindness is especially common in sheep and it can cause epidemics in wildlife when infected sheep spend a summer high up in the Alps, where chamois and sheep graze in the same places.

What infectious keratoconjunctivitis can look like in different animals:

Chamois blindness in chamois & ibex.

Infected eyes in ibex, sheep and chamois.

I have seen how to gut game before, and have done it myself in vetschool and when I got whole animals for dog food. But I never saw it on a pregnant animal.

Chamois mate in late november and the kids are then born in May or early June. This chamois was shot in the first week of February. So that puts this embryo at around 10 weeks old.

Alpine Newt II

On a recent walk, Kali discovered this little Alpine Newt. It was on its way to the river (I guess…), but due to the snow finally melting the water level was very high and the current was a lot stronger than usual.IMG_5339

So I picked it up and carried it over to the lake, where lots of newts spend their summer time. Kids swimming in the lake will often catch a few newts, keep them in a bucket of sorts and then release them back into the lake later.

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We also came across this one later, in the middle of a really hot road.

It didn’t move when I picked it up first, which is why I could take a picture to show off their nice orange belly. I carefully wetted it and when it started to move around a little, I put it into the lake as well. Into a little puddle on a stone, where the water was shallow and pretty warm hoping it wouldn’t be too much of a shock to go from a hot street to a cold mountain lake. Maybe he’ll recover…

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