The oven-like summer heat and arid conditions throughout Axarquia this year may be bringing in the tourists and providing a welcome boost to the local economy, but the wildlife finds the going hard.
A mountain goat turned up on a busy road in Torre de Bengalbon last week, while urban sightings of other creatures such as snakes, owls, vultures, eagles and wild boar are on the increase.
Experts believe there are a number of reasons the animals could be making their way to coastal areas, but the most likely is a scarcity of food and water in their normal habitats. This is leading the bewildered beasts to seek shelter and sustenance in municipal gardens.
In recent weeks farmers’ leaders have expressed concerns about the lack of water and the reservoir at Viñuela is at its lowest level for several years.
“There is a natural population increase, and the younger animals are expanding their territory,” said Jose Antonio Vilodres, owner of the Rincon de la Victoria Animal Health Centre ‘Don Animal.’
“They are also looking for water and food along with new areas they can colonise, but we are watching them,” he added.
In July alone, the Animal Health Park picked up 23 wild birds, including a bonelli’s eagle in Victoria Park, six snakes, two mountain goats and three wild boar from private homes.
The majority were returned to their natural habitats within 24 hours with the authorities insisting lost and abandoned pets constitute only a fraction of their rescue activities.
Vilodres recommends residents should call the organisation on 952 40 85 95 for help to remove any creatures found.