A thin slither of sand, in places not more than a few hundred meters wide and crowned with thick pin forest and undoubtedly one of the most striking features of the Baltic Sea is the Curonian Spit. This giant sand dune is nearly 100 kms long and connects Lithuania in the North and the Russian owned exclave of Kaliningrad Oblast in the South.
This UNESCO World heritage site is the home of a lot of well adapted wildlife including a few beach walking moose and the large fresh water Lagoon behind it is an important habitat for marine wildlife including a lot of seabirds.
At the Northern tip of the Curonian Spit lies Klaipeda, Lithuania’s only harbour and a popular seaside resort.
In the basement of a Soviet style apartment block I find one of Lithuania’s most renouned veterinary clinics, run by Linas Varanauskas.
This time I am arriving unanounced, but Linas – having just finished an operation – gives me a warm welcome and invites me to see his clinic and to meet his team.
What doesn’t look very impressive from the outside turns out to be a very tidy and uncluttered space with an impressive array of services provided by Linas and his very dediced team of veterinary professionals.
Consulting rooms are held small and functional but with low sit down desks, which continues to be the norm in many practices in Central Europe. Both abdominal as well as cardiac ultrasonography is been offered at the clinic.
While a feline patient is slowly recovering from her fracture repair …
I notice on the clinic wall the remains of a canine species that had not been so lucky….
Wolfs are surprisingly common again in this part of the world and hunting licenses have been issued to limit their impact on local lifestock.
And another reminder not only of the geographical location but also of the complexity of the current political situation can be found on the opposite wall in the form of a few souvenirs of one of our very famous Russian colleagues….