Copyright Kurt Bellon

Molecatcher Kurt catches his first white mole in 3 decades

Molecatcher Kurt Bellon had the surprise of his life recently.  The molecatcher had been asked for his services in Opdorp (Buggenhout – East Flanders) when he caught his first white specimen.  The mole was suffering from albinism.  It’s the first time in Kurt’s 30-year-career that he encountered a white mole.

Albinism only occurs in one mole in 15,000, so it’s quite rare.  Pigment is lacking in the mole’s fur and the eyes are usually red. Albinos experience extra sensitivity to the sun’s rays, but as the animal usually lives underground this isn’t often a problem.

Kurt is a busy man dealing with vermin like rats and mice, cockroaches, wasps, and flies.  He’s been doing it for thirty years but has never encountered a white mole.

“I catch up to 1,300 moles a year.  I had read up on it, but when you see it with your own eyes, it makes you a happy man”.

If Kurt catches moles alive, he frees them and gives them a second chance, though they have many natural enemies including weasels, owls, and other birds of prey.  Dead moles he returns to nature by throwing them in his garden where they are picked up by buzzards, magpies, and jackdaws.

Kurt intends to do the same with the white mole, even though it’s a rare specimen.  “A friend advised me to visit a taxidermist, but I won’t.  I have four kids and I don’t want them arguing later on about who gets to keep it! A photo is a better idea.”

Professional molecatchers are today nearly as rare as white moles.  There’s big demand in the Ghent and Leuven areas, especially from golf courses.  Kurt says if anybody is interested in learning the profession, they shouldn’t hesitate to contact him!

Copyright Kurt Bellon

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