Busy day for rescuers – Cygnet, Seal and Stag Call-outs.
CYGNET VIDEO: https://youtu.be/nnvGVFmLgkk
SEAL VIDEO: https://youtu.be/gcDGVhHtKZI
STAG VIDEO: https://youtu.be/vN_2UN6v8dM
A wildlife rescue charity in East Sussex had a busy day on Monday 12th October 2015. On top of their run of the mill calls to catted birds and struggling juvenile birds East Sussex Wildlife Rescue & Ambulance Service (WRAS) were called out to rescue an injured cygnet by the Lewes Rugby Club, an injured seal at Sovereign Harbour and a stag with its antlers entangled in electric fencing at Fairwarp.
Charity founder Trevor Weeks MBE accompanied by his partner Kathy Martyn from Uckfield and rescue volunteer Amy Sandiford from Brighton first attended to the cygnet at Lewes. It was holding one wing in an unusual position and behaving as if in discomfort. A rope was used to encourage the cygnets towards a footpath bridge to help with the capture. However the cygnet challenged the barrier but Trevor was able to run along the river to a slightly narrower section where he was able to catch the cygnet with a swan hook.
The cygnet was checked over out on site and then driven back to WRAS’s Casualty Centre at Whitesmith. “The cygnet was bruised along the edge of its wing and unable to stand. So the cygnet was treated and will go to the Swan Sanctuary at Shepperton if anything more serious is found on examination tomorrow (Tuesday)” said Trevor.
Within minutes of finishing with the cygnet WRAS received a phone call from British Divers Marine Life Rescue and Eastbourne RNLI after a Harbour Seal was seen with injuries at Sovereign Harbour, Eastbourne. WRAS rescuers Trevor, Kathy and Lindsay Redfern attended in WRAS’s ambulance to check and rescue the seal. It was clear from the blood on its body that the seal needed rescuing.
Rescuers Kathy and Trevor were worried the seal would jump straight back into the water as it was lying on a metal access ramp used by the RNLI to access the water. Trevor and Kathy had to climb onto the rocks and slowly and carefully manoeuvre their way across the rocks keeping as low as possible so the seal couldn’t see them. When at the water line, Kathy distracted the seal whilst Trevor from the opposite side managed to guide a net in front of the seal to block its escape route. The seal was then netted and secured by Trevor. Members of Eastbourne RNLI helped Trevor safely moved across to the steps which were very slippery, where he was then able to carry the seal up to WRAS’s Ambulance.
“We checked the seal over and as first had been thought, the seal had numerous puncture wounds around its rear flippers and tail as well as on its chest. We contacted British Divers Marine Life Rescue (BDMLR) and informed them that we had caught the seal and they contacted RSPCA Mallydams Wood at Fairlight where we then drove the seal to receive expert treatment” added Trevor.
On returning along the Ridge at Hastings WRAS’s ambulance had to do an emergency stop and Trevor had to jump out to pick up a Robin found stunned in the middle of the busy road.
Back at WRAS’s Casualty Centre it wasn’t long before the phone rang and a vet at Fairwarp was asking for assistance after a stag had been found with its antlers caught up on an electric rope fence on her farm. WRAS sent two ambulances and 5 rescuers to the site. “We grabbed all the equipment we needed for the capture and to cut the deer free and started walking across the field to the stag, as we were getting close the deer started to thrash around, which is a normal reaction, and as we were just about to proceed with a capture the deer managed to snap the electric tape attached to the antlers and free itself. Although the deer is free, we are concerned that it was trailing some line still, so the local residents are going to check the surrounding woodland to ensure the deer hasn’t become entangled again” said Trevor.
Luckily the rest of the day was fairly uneventful apart from a couple of calls about injured pigeons.
East Sussex WRAS’s rescuers work voluntarily and do not charge for being called out, but very much appreciate donations to help cover the charities cost of being on call, attending on site and treating the casualties in their care. You can find out more about the charity and make donations at www.wildlifeambulance.org
Trevor Weeks MBE – 01825-873003 or 07931523958
Pictures and Video property of East Sussex WRAS.