German Police Catch Hedgehogs Testing Home Made Crash Helmets in Saarbrücken

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Hedgehog (Igel) found by police in Saarbrücken, Germany, testing a crash helmet made from a discarded desert container (Pudding Becher) while crossing a dangerous road.

Like me I am sure many of my readers will be horrified by the all-too-frequent sight on our roads of dead hedgehogs. These poor animals, like many of us who move relatively slowly, require a little more time to cross the road. Sadly motorists do not take this into account and mercilessly slaughter them with their speeding vehicles.

Regular visitors to my Alpine Press site will already be aware of my article describing the research into human behaviour towards small animals on the roads. If you missed it please click on the title below but be warned the article includes a video of Tortoises being killed on highways and therefore it should under no circumstances be viewed by small children or people of a sensitive disposition:

2nd January 2013: Horror Story: Scientists demonstrate that drivers aim to kill innocent creatures trying to cross the road! (Tortoise-o-cide). 

Another feature of our modern roads is the considerable amount of litter that people just throw out of the car windows. This can range from anything from candy wrappers to plastic ice-cream or yoghurt cartons. In fact I even reported yesterday how someone had tossed away a vibrator which was eaten by an unsuspecting cod who mistook it for a brightly coloured octopus. That article can be found here:

18th April 2014 Blog: Using Fish To Recycle Plastics (Cod Eats Vibrator)

Considering the lack of sensitivity we humans are showing to our fellow creatures and the environment we share with them it is hardly surprising that nature is starting to respond.

Germany is a country, well known for its engineering skills and therefore it is hardly surprising that the wild animals in this country have also benefited from living in this high-tech innovative environment. In the last few days the Police in Saarbrücken-Burbach uncovered a development that has shaken the German Autobahn users to the core. The Animals are fighting back!

The Polizei Inspectorat discovered that local hedgehogs had been experimenting with discarded plastic desert beakers (known locally as ‘Pudding Becher‘) as protective crash helmets. The clever hedgehogs (or ‘Igel‘ as they are called in Germany) have been collecting pudding becher left by the side of the roads and testing them for use as home made crash helmets when they want to cross the road. See the photo below taken by the Saarbrücken-Burbach Police Inspection unit:

Helmut the Hedgehog caught testing crash helmut from desert beaker (Polizei haftet Helmut den Igel und sein puddingbecher helm) Photo Polizeiinspektion Saarbrücken-Burbach
Helmut the Hedgehog caught testing crash helmet from desert beaker (Polizei haftet Helmut den Igel und sein Puddingbecher Helm) Photo Polizeiinspektion Saarbrücken-Burbach

It would appear that the hedgehogs are trying to determine the benefits of different kinds of discarded food containers. On the one hand they have to fit well – the animal in the photo (Helmut) needed some help in removing his piece of Personal Protective Equipment (or PPE as we in the trade refer to it). In addition they need to be pretty robust to help the animals withstand collisions. Brightly coloured (preferably fluorescent) food containers are most preferred because they make the animals more visible, especially at night – a kind of high-vis head gear – and they attract motorists’ attention. Even those who might aim to kill a hedgehog will think twice about hitting a pudding container trying to cross the road.

Very importantly the hedgehogs prefer food containers which also have some remaining food residue in them. This can prove particularly useful on long journeys in case they get hungry on the road. The example in the photo appeared to be using a chocolate pudding container – one of the most preferred crash helmets currently undergoing trials with the Saarbrücken hedgehog community. German reading visitors can find a local summary of this news in the Muenstersche Zeitung using the link here.

Clearly this should be a wake up call for mankind. Do not underestimate our spiky friends – if we do not pay more attention to them and drive more carefully they may not simply stop at defensive protection measures. We could find hedgehogs and tortoises going on the offensive. It would not take a huge leap of imagination to go from inventing home made crash helmets to developing catapults or slingshots. All they would need would be some discarded knicker elastic – perhaps from the same ladies who no longer have use for the intimate toys that the cod have now started to clean up.

Nature is fighting back!

Chris Duggleby

If you found this article interesting you might also like to take a look at some of my other recent reviews. Just click on the titles below:

7th March 2014: Invasive Alien Species (IAS) Discovered in France – Potential for European Ecosystem Disaster

4th March 2014: 30,000 Year old giant virus found in the Siberian Permafrost and ‘resurrected’ – it is still infectious!

2nd March 2014: Wolves are better at learning from their ‘pals’ than dogs.Through domestication dogs have lost a capability that is key to success in the wild.

18th March 2014: Germany and Finland Joint Investigation: New Case of Sexual Cannibalism Including Self-mutilation (Castration) During Intercourse.

24th February 2014: Ant Wars: Crazy Ants deploy Chemical Warfare against Poisonous Fire Ants and their Amphibious Craft.

9th March 2013: Insects getting hooked on psychoactive drugs – How plants take advantage of bees by giving them a caffeine buzz.

28th December 2012: If you want to suck on my worm you had better whistle my song! 

6th October 2012: Blue, green or chocolate brown honey: Bee Obesity (“Obeesity”), M&Ms and a potential marketing challenge to Nutella in our children’s lunchboxes.

18th August 2012: Polar Bear dies of Encephalitis after catching Herpes from a Zebra in Wuppertal Zoo near Düsseldorf.

18th August 2012: How Bavarians and Austrians use their middle finger – Fingerhakeln: a men-only sport (did Arnold Schwarzenegger start training this way?).

11th August 2012: Do you have killer rats/mice in your cellar? Over 2000 people attacked in Germany so far this year (Hantavirus Infections at record levels).

4th August 2012: Alpine Cows are Fined 100 Euros by Judge for Ringing their Cow-bells too Loud (Steiermark Kuhglockenstraffe: die Kirchenglocken zunächst?)

4th August 2012: Should Horses be Forced to Wear Diapers to Keep Berlin Visitors’ Shoes free of Poo? (Pferdeäpfel Verursachen viel Dampf um Brandenburger Tor).

14th July 2012: Animal Emergencies and Horror Stories: Buzzards Attack Joggers, Horse Nearly Drowns in Poo, Ducklings Down the Drain.

If you like this kind of news there are plenty more exciting articles on my Alpine Press contents page which you can find here. Why not add this site to your browser favourites or subscribe to get regular updates?

If you enjoyed reading how Helmut the Hedgehog (Igel) was found by police in SaarbrückenGermany testing his crash helmet made from a discarded plastic desert pot (Pudding Becher) while crossing a German Autobahn please visit again.

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