Cape Golden Mole 1
From small to smaller
They only want to survive
All life is precious
We’d just had another of our Cape Storms, with strong winds and rain. My pool was full of leaves blown off the trees. I went round with the pool net, skimming as many of the leaves off the surface as I could.
I spotted a butterfly lying flat on the surface, wings outstretched. I thought to myself, “Well he’s gone,” but scooped him up anyway.
Cape Golden Mole 2
Then I noticed a large dark leaf, that seemed to be moving. I realised it was a mole!
The poor thing must have fallen in last night. It was exhausted, cold and barely alive, but still bravely trying to swim and survive.
I quickly scooped him up in the net also and laid it on the lawn. I made sure he was at the top so he could breathe, and went to fetch my camera.
Cape Golden Mole and Butterfly 3
When I came back, I was amazed to see that the butterfly had crawled out of the leaf mess and was wafting its wings, trying to dry off, while perching on the edge of the net.
The mole wasn’t moving at all. Poor little thing. I must have been just too late.
Still, I had an idea! Finding a small twig I pressed it gently under the mole’s forearm – and gave him CPR!
I didn’t want to actually touch him in case he sprang to life and bit me!
Cape Golden Mole and Butterfly 4
The mole was still motionless, but I don’t give up easily. I carried the net full of leaves, mole and butterfly over to a sheltered spot in my garden and emptied it out under the fir tree.
Then I tried to get the butterfly off the net. I placed the net next to the brick wall by the pool pump, and encouraged the butterfly to go onto it, but it was having none of that and turned away back to the netting. How did it even see?
So I held the net right up against a branch of the olive tree – and the butterfly stepped on to it. When I checked a short while later, he’d flown off.
Cape Golden Mole 5
Back to Mr Mole. I watched him quietly for a while, then noticed he was moving very slightly. He was still alive! Amazing!
I don’t know if you can see from the photos, but he had the most beautiful iridescent fur, with shiny colours of gold, green and violet. I think he was a Cape Golden Mole, occurring only in Sub-Saharan Africa.
I thought the best thing I could do for him, was to cover him with a few leaves, for camouflage and warmth, and just leave him be.
When I checked on him later, he’d also gone home.
Waking up on Saturday morning, I never dreamed that a few hours later I would be giving CPR to a mole! It just goes to show; you never know what each day will bring.