Easter Fire: A danger to animals

The Easter fire is a firm tradition in many places. Year after year, fires are lit in numerous cities and communities. But what is beautiful to look at for humans is also a danger for animals. Find out why here.

For which animals is the Easter fire a danger?  - Image: Shutterstock / Ivonne Wierink

For which animals is the Easter fire a danger? – Image: Shutterstock / Ivonne Wierink

Easter fires are a danger to many animals - including hedgehogs - Image: Shutterstock / Vlasta Kaspar

At Easter it is a tradition in many places on Holy Saturday or Easter Sunday to light an Easter bonfire. It is a custom of Germanic pagan origins in which people celebrate the beginning of spring. The wooden structures for the Easter bonfire are often completed a few days before they burn down. However, this can be very dangerous for animals.

Why are Easter fires a danger to animals?

A heap of wood and brushwood is the ideal shelter for animals – the material for the Easter bonfire is not excluded. For this reason, wood that has already been piled up should be rearranged again before the Easter fire is lit.

Shaking the woodpile is not enough to scare away animals that have made themselves comfortable in it. Rather than flee, she would remain calm and continue to hide.

For which animals is the Easter fire a danger?

• Birds

Bird species such as tits, robins or the rare wren like to use the Easter bonfire structures to build their nests. The prepared wooden mountains are an ideal retreat for them. Here the birds can supposedly breed in peace.

• Small mammals

Not only birds find shelter in the seemingly harmless wooden buildings, but also small mammals such as field mice or martens. Wild rabbits are also attracted to the preparations for the Easter bonfire. Although they are fast animals, fire can also be fatal to them. In addition, hedgehogs prefer to nest in it to have their young.

• amphibians

Toads or other amphibians are also affected. The Easter bonfire also poses a danger to them. Because they like to seek shelter in the shady and damp undergrowth of the heap.

Animal rights activists warn

Precisely because the fuel for an Easter bonfire is gathered some time before it burns down and many animals use it as a hiding place or breeding ground, it is all the more important to erect or rearrange the wooden structures just before the Easter bonfire. At least that’s what animal rights activists, including Animal Rights Watch, are calling for.

You might also be interested in these animal topics:

Keeping rabbits species-appropriate: This is how the animals feel comfortable

Two kittens show why they look forward to Easter

A duckling enjoys the spring sunshine

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