Hares and moose occupy Tallinn
In recent decades, contacts between city dwellers and wild animals have become more frequent in Tallinn and its surroundings.
This is reported by ERR.ee.
Zoologist Uudo Timm says that it is not only due to the fact that smartphones allow people to share videos and photos of these encounters, but also due to ongoing urbanization. In recent years, bears and lynxes have been coming to the city more often.
"Large predators feel comfortable, their numbers are increasing, so there are more encounters," says Timm.
They are mainly territorial animals, and the increase in their population often forces young males to search for a free territory. That's how they end up in densely populated areas."
However, according to Timm, it's not just animals coming to us, but humans are also encroaching on their habitats by expanding residential areas.
"People come into their habitat. Animal trails have formed over the years, just like the routes we are used to. When animals see a path that is easier to walk on, they use it," the scientist notes. The paths of humans and wild animals are increasingly crossing.
According to Timm, a new phenomenon in Tallinn has been the presence of brown hares, which were rare twenty years ago.
"Sometimes they could be seen on the outskirts, in forests and fields, but now they have settled in urban green areas and areas with private housing," says the zoologist.
According to him, in some places hares and rabbits can cause problems for gardeners. Timm cannot say for certain what exactly brought these animals to the city.
"Perhaps there are fewer natural predators here. Or foxes, which are also often found in green areas of the city, find it easier to find other food sources than chasing rabbits," he says.
Helsinki has been facing a similar, but much more serious problem for many years. For example, in 2020, the Finnish national broadcaster Yle reported that there are thousands of hares living in the city, although no one can count them anymore. The authorities have tried to reduce the population, but the effect of various measures has been limited. Sometimes the hare population decreases due to outbreaks of viral hepatitis.
Viimsi, like many other suburbs of Tallinn, is growing, which has led to an increase in the number of moose on the peninsula.
"The moose ended up in a trap because several green corridors were built. Sometimes some moose also reach the peninsula by sea. There are still suitable habitats in this area, which is why the number of moose has increased here. Hunting them is not allowed because there are people moving in the green areas," Timm explains. According to the zoologist, Viimsi lacks major natural regulators of the moose population, such as large predators like wolves and bears.
As a result, moose create dangerous road situations in Viimsi and cause problems in gardens. "Low fences don't stop them either; moose simply jump over them, and in winter they particularly enjoy apple tree branches," says the zoologist.
As reported by The Gaze, in the Finnish town of Kuusamo near the border station Vartius, a bear attacked a border guard. The border guard fell to the ground and pretended to be dead, so the bear left him alone without causing any harm.