RTA badger on the A27 near Brighton

Ambulances rushed to the aid of a fallow deer at Shipreed Farm, Ridgewood, Uckfield on Sunday morning. Ambulances from Uckfield and WRAS’s Casualty Centre at Whitesmith attended on site. The deer had camouflage netting wrapped round its antlers which had then become caught on the barbed wire fence next to Ridgewood Stream. The rescue was made difficult due to the barbed wire, steep bank of the stream and vegetation meaning the normal use of a “walk-to-wards” net was not possible. Several times the deer was seen to slide down the bank, and this posed the safest and most risk free time to catch and secure the deer. I climbed down into the stream and waited for the deer to slip on the bank and then grabbed both back legs and threw a blanket over the deer’s head. Chris was then able to secure the antlers, head and front shoulders leaving Kathy and Daryl to cut the deer free. It was frustrating trying to cut the netting which was so tightly attached. Eventually the wire and netting was free. Kathy and Daryl backed off. Chris and I sorted out our best escape route, but either way it was clear the deer had no choice but to run off into the stream and across into the field. Starting to lose his grip on the embankment, Chris and I had to jump free of the deer. It slid the short distance down the embankment into the water, it walked down the stream rather shocked at first, then realising he was free jumped out onto the bank and trotted into the fields, where it then clicked in that he was free, and started charging off across the field, by the time I got across the stream and into the field the deer was already into the neighbouring field running away to freedom. We have some video footage being uploaded to our You Tube site at www.youtube.com/user/eastsussexwras

Ridgewood Deer Rescue

Ridgewood Deer Rescue

A WRAS ambulance rushed to the aid of a badly injured hedgehog at Steyning last week in the early hours of the morning. This is not an area we usually cover but the caller is house bound and the local animal rescue charity doesn’t do out of hours unfortunately. They RSPCA said they couldn’t get there till the morning apparently. I so wish there were more people doing rescue work especially out of hours, but I know how difficult and stressful it is plus how demanding it is. The poor little hedgehog was less than 200 grams and had numerous puncture wounds to his body, and a lot of bruising and swelling all over his body. I gave emergency medication out on site under veterinary advice before transporting the little chap back to WRAS’s Casualty Centre. On the A27 Brighton by-pass I had to stop for a road casualty Badger. It was in the middle of the carriageway and freshly dead sadly. I stopped and move the badger to the verge where I doubt checked it had passed away.

We’ve taken on several young pigeons and ducks from Chris at Bexhill Wildlife Rescue this week. Some of them are very poorly and now being treated, we are pleased we could help Chris and his fledgling organisation out. I very much relied on this sort of help when I first started.

Ridgewood Deer Rescue

Ridgewood Deer Rescue

Rescuers have also been out to another young gull in Sovereign harbour Eastbourne with a hook and weight stuck in its beak preventing it from taking off. We have also had two hedgehogs come in from Pevensey Bay and another from Polegate. Other calls have included a grounded nestling bird in Alverston Close, Eastbourne; a grounded pigeon Hamble Road, Stone Cross; an injuired gull at Pevensey and Westham Railway Station as well as an injured hedgehog in Windsor Way Polegate, to name just a few. We’re having a second wave of young birds coming into care at the moment including thrushes, wrens, goldfinches and blackbird nestlings.

You will be pleased to know that the remaining four cygnets from Decoy Pond are doing well up at the Swan Sanctuary. It was sad that the weakest one died within the first 48 hours, but the others are responding well to treatment. We have been liaising with Eastbourne Borough Council about the parasite problem which is actually a roundworm parasite, of which there are many types. Faecal analysis of the cygnets showed large numbers in their poo. I feel sorry for the council and Friends of Hampden Park for all their hard work and effort into improving the lake over the years only to find the problem still exists. We have now contacted Natural England to seek advice on dealing with the problem next year.Ridgewood Deer Rescue 23rd Aug 2015 (3)

Our fox cubs have been released this week as well as our last group of ducklings. The young weasel has gone out for release near Herstmonceux, as well as our young Tawny Owls which are now outside in an aviary waiting release in Lewes. We had three adult ducks at the centre at one point last week, one of them has already been released at Laughton, after recovering from a fractured leg. We still have the duck from the Pells Pond in Lewes which due to a low immune system is taking a while to recover. And a new duck which is off its feet and very wobbly which is still under treatment.

Decoy Pond Cygnets at the Swan Sanctuary

Decoy Pond Cygnets at the Swan Sanctuary

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.