Rehabilitation of Wildlife
It was in 2011 when in the company of my wife and four year daughter that we visited Naxos Island, Greece for the Naxos Festival as well as adventuring in the place. We also had planned to visit Della Rocca-Barozzi Venetian Museum and the Roman Catholic Cathedral in Kastro as part of our visit. Everything went according to plans and we all loved everything about this island. On our final day there, having completed sight-seeing all that we had cherished long for, we decided that take a tour in the villages. We wanted to know more about the heritage of the inhabitants of the area.
That day we drove and interacted with several people in the southeast of Naxos town and spent some time with them before moving deeper to meet other indigenous communities living around Mt Zas. It is here that we spent the whole afternoon touring the area and meeting the hospitable people there. Our tour guide had extensive knowledge of places that we would have fun and thus none of us got bored. I loved the way my daughter was quick to get along with the natives of the area.
In the evening, while on our way back to Naxos, we stopped in Tragean Halki, where our guide had promised us that we would meet wonderful people. Here we met some two young men, who wanted to show us around before we left. They led us through a walking trail which was so magnificent that we all went capturing pictures. One of them opted to carry my daughter for us. As we walked, the one carrying my daughter came across a cute looking weasel which seemed to have hidden in a nearby bush of vines. Across examination, he concluded that the weasel had been wounded. It was a young baby weasel.
But he had made a mistake when he was approaching it after he noticed the weasel; he had told my daughter that it was a nice gift that he wanted to present to her. So however wounded the weasel was, there was nothing that he could tell her to convince otherwise. My daughter at first thought that it was a beautiful looking cat was begged him to let her keep it promising that she was safe with her. She yelled and cried loudly whenever she was told that she couldn’t keep the animal. At last, feeling defeated, the young man decided to let my daughter have her.
Caring for a Sickly Weasel
That is how we left Naxos with a sickly weasel as we headed back home for a few weeks. It became part of my daughter’s life for a few days as she tried all foods that she thought that the weasel would take. All this time, I had the weasel on a cage so that she could feel protected. However, the weasel didn’t like most of the food presented to her. She would seldom eat and made me pity the poor animal.
I felt that I was making a mistake by trapping the animal. I’ve never kept a pet before. I hailed form a family back ground where my parent believed that we had no right to own any animal. This made me belong to that school of thought that having and loving a pet was irrelevant in life; but here is a situation where my daughter has fallen in love with one and wants to keep her.
The weasel that she dearly loves is getting weaker every day, and I don’t want to feel responsible for his demise. My wife too felt the same, but our daughter was indifferent. We didn’t want to upset her. As much as I tried all positive choices for the weasel to feed, she declined the food and ate just a little.
Adoption of Wild Animals
After much deliberation, I decided to call the forest unit for some advice. When a representative from the office came and so how weak the weasel was, he became so concerned why I was still keeping her, but realized it was all because of the daughter. He suggested she would be going with the animal to Hellenic Wildlife Hospital in Aegina for treatment and further rehabilitation. She talked to my daughter about this, and however much she was disappointed, she thought after treatments, she would have her pet back.
That was never to be the case. We had already discussed with the officer that the best way that I could help the animal and let her feel part of my daughter life was me to adopt her. That meant that I would pay for the treatments as well as any further support needed, something I never objected to because I wanted my daughter to see her pet again.
The weasel was taken to the treatment sanctuary for Rehabilitation of Wildlife. We happened to visit her twice while she was alive and my daughter felt good that her ‘pet’ was recovering and doing well. However, we were greatly disappointed on pour third visit to realize that she later died due to much malnutrition that she had suffered. It was a blow to my daughter and to me as I felt very sorry for her. The death of the young weasel solidified my interest in HWH and since after I’ve always tried to give any support that I can to the animals in the sanctuary.