The climate change-induced frigid weather currently affecting Europe has slammed Ireland particularly hard. Snow accumulation in Dublin is the highest it’s been since 1982, and everyone — humans and animals alike — are struggling to cope. On Saturday night, the heavy snow nearly proved too much for a tiny baby hare, prompting officials at Dublin Airport to valiantly stage a heroic rescue.
The video of the rescue, which went viral on Saturday night after being posted by Dublin Airport officials to Twitter, showed the baby hare wandering nervously along the snow-covered landscape, which looks to be an airport runway, judging by the tracks. There’s no telling the scale of the snowdrifts and the hare until a gloved hand enters the shot, reaching down gingerly and scooping up the hare in its palm. That’s one tiny hare!
The Dublin ‘Hareport’ officials proved to be quite knowledgeable about hare biology, tweeting that the hare was a “leveret” — a baby hare. They were a little less savvy about identifying its sex, at first confusing it for a male. They later corrected their mistake, naming the hare Emma Sneachta.
If the current freezing weather trends in Europe continue, there may be many other animals that follow in the footsteps of Emma Sneachta, and not all may be as lucky. On February 26, Europe officially became colder than the North Pole, and World Meteorological Organization officials noted the cold blast may last two to three weeks.
Erik Solheim, head of U.N. Environment, told Reuters that the unusually wintry weather was a result of a drastically changing climate. “What we once considered to be anomalies are becoming the new normal,” he said. “Our climate is changing right in front of our eyes, and we’ve only got a short amount of time to stop this from getting significantly worse.”
We can only hope that the touching story of Emma and the Dublin Hareport officials raises awareness about the dangerous changes that caused her frigid plight in the first place.