Young gull

Young gull

It’s certainly been wet and we had our fair share of getting wet this week.  Chris and I attended a seal after members of the public reported a small and weak seal on the beach at the boardwalk at Sovereign Harbour.   After a lengthy walk in the torrential rain we eventually spotted the seal near the eastern Martello tower at the harbour. The poor creature was being thrown around by the waves as it tried to climb up the beach. Chris made an attempt to catch the seal and got rather wet in the waves in the process.  We just couldn’t get close enough quickly enough to catch the seal. After seeing the seal hit one of the wooden groynes hard and then float out to sea we feared the worst.  Unable to do anything we retired back to our casualty centre.  Disappointed we warmed ourselves up and then we received another call to say a small and thin seal was on the beach just inside the harbour entrance.  We rushed down and this time the seal was at least 12ft from the water meaning Chris and I could walk either side and cut off the seal’s escape route. Using a long handled net Chris caught the seal giving me time to get close and secure him.  He was checked over, no injuries were obvious but he was clearly very underweight. After speaking to British Divers Marine Life Rescue and the RSPCA we transported the seal up to Mallydams Wood at Hastings to their special seal facilities.

Rescuer Chris attended a gull in Eastbourne which became trapped in a stairwell of a block of flats. The youngster was being a bit too inquisitive and seemed to have got lost. In the panic and desperate to get out he managed to knock his wing. He has now gone up to Bird Aid for recuperation.

Virtually every other call at the moment is from people who have found fledgling gulls on the ground. As with garden birds it is best to leave fledgling bird alone. Most birds spend time on the ground building up the muscle strength before they can fly properly. Gulls can be down on the ground for 5-6 days doing so. People worry that they will be taken by foxes or cats or get run over. If you do find a fledgling gull which you are worried about try to get it off the ground if there is a low roof next to where found, however it is likely they won’t stay there long. If on a road try to get the bird into a garden so they are less likely to get run over.   Normally with a few days they will be flying and away.P1060468med

The hype in the papers about gulls is unbelievable. I see gulls are being accused of killing other birds too now and should be culled. Since when was it wrong for wildlife to kill other animals or birds for food?  We can’t expect wildlife to all be vegetarian. We don’t act like this when Lions kill zebra in Africa, or a bear injures or kills a pet in Canada, or a Tawny Owl takes mouse or blue tit takes caterpillar. Is Government going to debate and call for a cull of cats and dogs who kill way more animals and bird including other peoples pets and protected species than gulls?   Wildlife in this country is very lame in comparison to wildlife in other countries which are way more harmful and dangerous. Other countries must be laughing at us for over reacting and being so childish. It about time we manned up and became a bit more tolerant and understanding of the fact that we share this planet with other living creatures and need to start being the more intelligent species, learn to live with nature rather than think we can isolate ourselves and live in glass bubbles where wildlife can’t touch us.SnapShot(17)

Most people have probably seen the articles about our new Hedgehog Maternity Ward in Uckfield, which we need to raise about £4,000 to equip with special cages and equipment. Some people have been a little confused by what we are doing and think we are breeding hedgehogs and have asked if they can buy them or have one for their gardens.  The maternity ward is being used to give pregnant hedgehogs a calm and relaxing place to give birth as naturally as possible within care and to rear and look after their young themselves and once the mum is fit and well again they are released back to the wild where found or within their home range.   We are keen to get our hedgehogs back to the locations where they are found to help support the populations in the areas where the casualties come from.

WRAS is starting its own Lottery 100 Club to help raise funds and also give you the chance of winning a cash prize. All the details are on our website at http://wildlifeambulance.org/donate/wras-100-club/

Sussex Police asked WRAS to attend Decoy Pond Hampden Park last week after reports of a person attacking the swans. Due to the report of multiple injured swans, WRAS sent two ambulances to the scene, but on arrival the swans were found to be swimming in the water and showing no signs of injury.

 

 

About Trevor Weeks

Trevor Weeks MBE Operations Director for East Sussex Wildlife Rescue & Ambulance Service (WRAS) Trevor started undertaking wildlife rescue and conservation work in 1985 when just 13 years old, and his life has been dedicated to the care of wildlife ever since. East Sussex Wildlife Rescue was established as a voluntary group in 1996 and became a registered charity in 2005. WRAS now has four veterinary ambulances and a Casualty Care Centre on the A22 between Hailsham and Uckfield capable of looking after up to 200 casualties at a time. The charity is primarily run by volunteers and relies of donations to fund its award winning life saving service.