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I UNDERSTAND
English Section

Don't touch the salamanders, Polish hikers warned

20.09.2019 08:00
Hikers have been warned it is dangerous to touch fire salamanders, which are out in force in the Polish mountains during their mating season.
Image by Harald Matern from Pixabay
Image by Harald Matern from Pixabay Pixabay License

The salamanders can be easily seen in deciduous forests in the Bieszczady and Beskid Niski mountain ranges in south-eastern Poland, said Edward Marszałek, a spokesman for the regional forest authority.

He added that an encounter with such amphibians was “almost certain” on a path to the Cergowa peak in the Beskid Niski range.

"Substances secreted from the skin of this amphibian can cause health problems,” Marszałek said.

He added that it was especially dangerous to “rub your eyes with your hand if you’ve just held a salamander.”

Fire salamanders, which are black with yellow spots or stripes, can grow to be 25 centimetres (10 inches) long and are a protected species in Poland.

In the past, some people worshipped them, regarding them as “daughters of the flames” because of their distinctive colouring, Marszałek said.

“It was believed that salamanders are not born like other animals, but emerge from fires burning in the forest,” he added.

(pk/gs)

Source: PAP