Guingamp – Firemen test reptiles in Plouaga



They didn’t have cold eyes! On the occasion of their visit to the Cerdanet terrarium in Plouagat this Thursday afternoon, six firefighters from several barracks in the department encountered – almost – without blinking an eye, its impressive inhabitants, under the watchful eye of Catell and Pierre Xtinic, hosts of the place.

A visit that was not fun for these firefighters as it was enrolled in a training program they participated in to integrate a very young Côte d’Armor firefighter animal rescue team. Consisting of 34 of them (60% volunteers and 40% professionals), she took office on January 1, 2021 after confirming the achievements of a part of the staff. It will be fully operational on Monday.

Use the right gestures

At the beginning of the week, ten firefighters in training received an introduction to the local fauna from the French Office for Biodiversity (OFB) and animal protection through the DDPP services. They also studied captive wildlife at the Tregomera Zoo and farm animals at the La Ville-Davy Agricultural Training Center in Quessois. The end of the week was to be devoted to horses every other day at the La Ville-Glé equestrian center, then to domestic dogs with a cynologist meeting.

But this Thursday was approaching the time for snakes, iguanas, turtles and other lizards for these volunteers. A very specific category of animals, for which the invasion of the Kistinik family, whose level of knowledge now shines on a national scale, was ideal.

After an hour and a half of theoretical training, future animal rescuers began to practice using several scenarios organized by Catell Kstynik. Goal: Use the right gestures to catch animals without harming them, with as little stress as possible and without risking injury.

From biting turtle to stubborn anaconda

The friendly star tortoise, quietly walking around the room, despite its large weight, was not a problem for them. The iguana also roams from one vivarium to another. The difficulty increased when it came to neutralizing an aquatic turtle of the same size as the previous one, but much more aggressive, and whose bite can be formidable.

Even more subtle was the capture of snakes released in succession, which had to be hooked, placed in a box, carefully closing the lid. A snake writhing between its legs, a huge Burmese python almost impossible to lift by one person, an anaconda determined not to be locked up… Thanks to the advice of Catell and Pierre, the firefighters successfully completed their tasks of the day. And now they are ready to intervene throughout the department in the event of an animal disaster, be it furry, feathered or scaly.

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