French shelter fills up as drought affects wildlife

STORY: The shelter opened in Saint-Cezaire-sur-Siagne in January and currently houses around 200 animals, of which around 85% are birds and the rest are small mammals like hedgehogs and squirrels.

France is entering its third heatwave of the year, which is expected to peak on Wednesday (August 3). The country has also been hit by wildfires which have led to hundreds of human and animal evacuations.

The whole eco-system is being turned upside down by the drought and heat, leaving animals struggling to find food and water.

Some young animals are prematurely leaving their nests, in search of fresh air.

Many of the animals in the shelter live on a diet of insects, whose reproduction has dropped due to the hot and dry weather destroying the wet environments they need to breed, in addition to use of pesticides, says Helene Bovalis, the founder of the center.

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