The area of the park where the mushrooms were collected. :: j-l.
A dog died after eating mushrooms gathered in the park by its young owner and another was left in a serious condition
The tests carried out by experts from the Junta de Andalucía to ascertain the existence of poisonous mushrooms in the Parque de Los Jardines in Marbella have not found any such evidence.
The analysis was undertaken at the weekend following an incident when a pet dog ingested mushrooms gathered by an eight-year-old boy who had visited the park on a school trip on Friday. The dog died as a result and another remains in a grave state of ill health.
According to the boy’s mother, Yolanda Rodrigo, her son was distraught and refused to eat for two days, thinking that he had killed his pet.
The experts took examples of four different species of mushrooms in the southern zone of the park where the boy had collected them as a souvenir of his day out.
Having been examined and checked against the scientific classification of mushroom types none of the four species has proved to be poisonous. However, experts maintain that the dog could have eaten a kind of mushroom not collected by the boy and, in any case, all mushroom species contain some level of toxicity.
María Labaig, the vet who carried out an autopsy on the Shih Tzu dog, which was of advanced age and low weight and size, insists that its death was caused by the ingestion of toxic mushrooms which were found in its stomach. “It had a completely destroyed liver,” she says, pointing out that the second family pet which also ate the mushrooms but is still alive, has similar liver damage.
The deceased dog was cremated soon after Labaig carried out the autopsy due to high levels of toxicity and the potential danger of affecting other animals and people in the vicinity. This means that no further tests can be carried out on it.
While the relevant area of the park was sealed off following the incident, the Junta’s head of environmental matters in Malaga, Javier Carnero, has insisted that it would be impossible to completely eliminate wild mushrooms from the park.
Carnero points out the danger of applying fungicide and other chemicals to the recreational zone, which would damage wildlife and adversely affect people and animals using the park. In his opinion, the best option is to put up signposts in Parque Los Tres Jardines, warning people that they are in a natural environment which might contain poisonous mushrooms.
“To go to Parque de Los Tres Jardines is like going into the mountains and everybody knows that if you pick mushrooms there you should not eat them,” he says. “The most important thing is that people who go to a countryside park know exactly what kind of environment they are in.”
Nevertheless, following the incident, the ‘Plan de conservación y uso sostenible de setas y trufas de Andalucía’(a project designed for the conservation and the sustainable use of wild mushrooms and truffles) which is a regional environmental scheme, has decided to undertake a thorough analysis of the mushrooms to be found in the Parque de Los Tres Jardines.