Michaela Merz

Saving lives

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With my youngest one we were on a bike tour. Suddenly we saw a large, almost black puddle, which was moving. We stopped and watched countless small black tadpoles how they were swimming to and fro and thus caused the movements we were watching. We were standing there, fascinated and captivated. There were so many small animals crowded on such close space. We started to think what will happen if the days get warmer without any rain. This puddle would not have any water feed and if it would not rain, these countless animals would die without any chance of ever reaching frog-stage.

It became clearer and clearer that we had to save them. But this seemed only possible by relocation. But relocating to where? My youngest one suggested our bathtub but I managed to talk him out of that as being rather foreign to tadpoles. We started to search for a suitable place. That was easier said than done. The place had to guarantee their save growing up, be close to us and well hidden. We started to search but our endeavour turned out more difficult than expected. We went crisscross with our bikes through the area but it became obvious that no natural space fulfils our criteria. It became clear that we had to build it. At a small stream we built in complex engineering work a small branch, then turned it to a small artificial lake and decorated it artistically so that the new inhabitants would feel at ease.

The next day was moving day. Equipped with plastic container with water we went about saving the tadpoles. Those who have ever tried to catch tadpoles just with hands know that we soon regretted not having taken a net. Catching tadpoles and to move them into our plastic container turned out much more time consuming that we had thought. But finally we managed it and then our tadpoles started their first big journey.

We let them out in their new home and they felt well. The first part of our life-saver action had succeeded. Since then we spend our time at the stream and watch the tadpoles. The hind legs have not yet started to grow but will do so hopefully soon. My youngest one said that once they are big, he will train them for a travelling circus. We will see in a few weeks whether it works.


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