Danish News in Brief: File hedgehog life expectancy under science fiction

But drones carrying blood samples – that’s a reality. Let’s hope the same isn’t true of a Hard Brexit, which Danish customs are busy getting ready for

Just 0.4 percent of Denmark’s hedgehogs reach the age of eight – a reasonable age for one of the animals to die of natural causes – according to a study of around 700 dead specimens carried out by Sophie Lund Rasmussen, a biologist attached to the University of Southern Denmark.

The study found  that most hedgehogs die during their second year of life, with 75 percent of them being run over. Rasmussen discovered a hedgehog on Funen that was eleven years old.

Reduced to tears
“I actually started crying when I discovered it,” she told DR. “It was overwhelming to think that it might actually die of old age.”

A hedgehog’s jaw bone gives a good indication of age in a similar fashion to the rings on a tree – effectively counting the number of winter hibernations.

186,800 kroner and a car – police confirm Jewellery Act haul
The Jewellery Act led to widespread international outrage when it was introduced into Danish law in January 2016, but the figures show that none of the recent new arrivals to Denmark have had any of their trinkets confiscated. The law stated that if the asylum-seekers or migrants were to receive benefits, they must not have any valuable assets, and a 10,000 kroner limit was placed on jewellery. Over the 37 months since the law’s enactment, the police have cited the law just ten times, taking a total of 186,800 kroner and a car. Amid the outrage that greeted the law, there were many who said the law was propaganda – a warning to migrants to not come to Denmark – and Inger Støjberg, the immigration minister, told DR that the lower number of asylum-seekers in 2018 proved that the law worked.

Three-year pilot to transport blood samples and equipment by drone
A three-year pilot project has begun in which drones will be used to transport blood samples and medical equipment between selected hospitals in Denmark. The HealthDrone project will involve the hospitals in Odense, Svendborg and Ærø – mainly because they form a triangle around the airspace over Denmark’s national drone test centre at HCA Airport near Odense. As well as quickly giving doctors the necessary tools to carry out their work, it is estimated that drone usage can save the health service 200 million kroner a year. The 30.6 million kroner project involves six main partners: SDU, Falck, Autonomous Mobility, Odense University Hospital, UniFly and Scandinavian Avionics. Almost half the funding has come from Innovationsfonden.

Media jump on story of man who raped his daughter on his wedding night
The story of a Danish man who claims he accidentally had sexual intercourse with his 20-year-old daughter on his wedding night, apparently because he mistook her for his new wife, has been picked up by a wide range of international tabloids. The incident took place near Kolding on August 19 at around 04:30, two hours after the daughter was helped to bed due to her state of inebriation. The 50-year-old father has since been convicted of rape and sent to prison for two and a half years – a damning text in which he apologised and said he thought his daughter was his wife sealed his fate.

Politiken editor-of-chief escapes prison and hefty fine
Christian Jensen, the editor-of-chief of Politiken, has escaped a prison sentence for publishing a book written by former PET head Jakob Scharf just days after the intelligence agency activation injunctions to prevent its sale. Instead of getting the four months the prosecutor was asking for, he was fined 50,000 kroner, while Politiken was fined 100,000 kroner. Additionally, the prosecutor had called for total fines of 15 million kroner – so in the end, the court divided its recommendation by exactly 100.

Rare black rhino birth at safari park
Black rhinos are rare, but Ree Park Safari has three right now following the Sunday birth of a 52 kilo calf. The Ebeltoft safari park faces a nervous couple of months, as Bashira’s previous calf died just eight weeks old. Nevertheless, Bashira quickly became pregnant again thanks to her male companion Thabo. A black rhino pregnancy lasts approximately 450 days. Meanwhile, Bashira’s first calf, Mandela, is on its way to Rwanda to continue the species’ fight against extinction.

Danish customs ready for Hard Brexit outcome
Danish customs have 50 extra employees on standby in the event of a Brexit at the end of March. The extra staff will be used to take care of an expected increase in admin – particularly if it is a Hard Brexit. The staff are “already in place and ready if a no-deal scenario is the outcome”, Danish customs told Britain’s ITV News.

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