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#175 Bavarian Pine Vole

Critically Endangered

Second in my series of pest animals, and another one of those where everyone thought the animal was extinct and then re-discovered at a much later date. They had not been seen after 1962 and then in the 1980's a hospital was built in the only area they had ever been known to live. No surprise, but they were only found in Bavaria, near the border to Austria. Then, Frederike found a population in Austrai, close to the border. There are I guess 23 specimens in museums from before 1962, but I could not find pictures of any of them. Wikipedia had a picture that was supposed to be them, but I am not sure. I could not find any good description of them other than what Frederike Spitzenberger the researcher who found them said. She apparently described them as sausages with legs but did also say that you have to use genetics and the teeth to be able to tell some voles from other species. I based the colouring on the one picture, and I hope that is correct because some seem to be more grey. Honestly, most of the information I could find about voles came from pest control sites. It does not really seem that voles have been well studied except for what knowledge it might take in order to get rid of them.

I think that it is cruel to overfeed your pet. Yes, people who make their animals really fat do it out of misguided love where people who purposefully starve an animal are loathsome and evil. So it is nowhere near as bad as starving them, but still is something that should be fought against. It is very bad for the animal to be obese though and can lessen their lifespan considerably while also usually lowering their quality of life. It can be really hard, I understand. We had a beagle after all, and they always strive to achieve a spherical shape. When our terrier developed SARDs he had the typical behaviour that seems like Chrons or Diabetes where he was always feeling as if he was starving, and always feeling as if he was dying of thirst too. Combine that with the fact that he was timid and suddenly blind so he couldn't run off his calories the way he used to, so he got pudgy. We had to cut down how much food we gave him at meals quite considerably. It was difficult, because my kids are the ones who feed the dogs. They didn't like having to barely give him so little. Thankfully, while he will still now eat anything and everything, he has lost some of the pudge. All that said, I will admit I love how chubby these little voles are. I just want to snuggle with it.

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