Istanbul’s marten population rises after hedgehog boom
ISTANBULMany martens have been seen on the streets of Istanbul after a recent hedgehog boom, daily Habertürk reported on Aug. 16.
A veterinarian specializing in wild animals, Ahmet Emre Kütükçü, said they have started to find a number of baby martens in Istanbul’s Fatih and Beyoğlu districts.
Kütükçü said martens have been seen on the roofs of buildings and gardens in Istanbul, adding the animals seen in Istanbul were ‘beech martens.’
“They go out to feed at night. There are many animals in Istanbul they hunt like rats and pigeons but martens are also addicted to sweets. Sometimes they enter houses if they find open windows. They also love eggs. They shatter eggs with their nails and drink them,” he said.
Kütükçü also said martens keep up with the pace of city life in Istanbul.
“The fact that the new buildings are high makes these animals move to different areas,” he added.
He also discussed the wild boars that hit the city on July 18.
“If the wooded areas are not enough, this time boars start to scan larger areas. Sometimes they go into the city to look for food. It tells us that if boars are now looking for food in the city then the forest is not enough,” he said.
Meanwhile, numbers of Turkish social media users from various areas of Istanbul are sharing information about martens.
Experts believe hedgehogs have become more visible in Istanbul’s streets as a result of ongoing urban construction projects in the province, daily Habertürk reported on Aug. 9.
Hedgehogs are particularly sensitive to vibrations from construction works and have thus been disturbed by ongoing projects in many different districts of Istanbul, bringing them to the surface from their underground burrows, many experts say.