Hedgehog from The Potteries in Uckfield

Hedgehog from The Potteries in Uckfield

Last week started with a very busy day with a morning call to a cygnet with a damaged wing in the river behind Lewes Rugby Club. Rescuers Amy, Kathy and I were called to rescue the cygnet. It was a good team effort to catch the cygnet which was unable to stand. We suspect it may have tried flying and crashed into something due to the bruising along the wing. The cygnet is now with the Swan Sanctuary.  Shortly after our return from dealing with the cygnet we were called down to Sovereign Harbour by BDMLR and Eastbourne RNLI after a seal hauled itself out on the RNLI’s access ramp to the water.  Lindsay, Kathy and I attended on site and it was clear from the start that the seal needed help. Kathy and I had to climb onto the rocks and keeping as low to the ground as possible we had to get to the water’s edge without being seen in order to block the seal’s escape route.  Kathy then distracted the seal whilst I got into position and blocked the seal’s escape using a net. With the help of the RNLI guys we were then able to secure the seal and carry it up to the ambulance. There were numerous puncture wounds and injuries so we delivered the seal straight to the RSPCA Mallydams Wood to their specialist seal facilities. Thank you to the RSPCA, BDMLR and RNLI for their help.  On the way back we had to do an emergency stop driving along The Ridge at Hastings for a little robin sat in the middle of the road!  I then joked to my colleagues, we only need a deer, badger or fox to finish the day off – so as soon as we arrive at back at Whitesmith, the phone goes and we end up rushing to a stag with its antlers caught in electric rope fence just north of Fairwarp. As we approached the rope snapped allowing the deer to run off trailing some of the rope. The residents are going to keep an eye out round the local fields and woodland in case he becomes caught again. Luckily the rest of the day was fairly uneventful with just a few calls to injured pigeons.

Lewes Cygnet Rescue (1)

Lewes Cygnet Rescue (1)

WRAS Duty Rescue Co-ordinator Chris Riddington was called out by Sussex Police after a fox was hit by a car in Willingdon Park Drive in Eastbourne. Luckily Chris was only minutes away and attended quickly. The fox was hit whist eating something in the middle of the road. The callers had very kindly stopped and we’re holding the traffic back when Chris arrived and keeping the fox safe. We didn’t get a chance to thank them at the time but we are extremely grateful for their kindness and making it easier for us to find him. After being brought back to our Casualty Centre for first aid treatment I was called down to assist. During examination it became apparent that there was an abnormality around the pelvis. Cliffe vets in Lewes agreed to see her and rescuers Jen and Martin rushed her over there. Sadly it seems the lady had a fractured pelvis. Due to the severity of the injuries and the abdominal complications the kindest thing to do was end her suffering peacefully.

RTA fox in Eastbourne

RTA fox in Eastbourne

The same night we had a call to another fox with in Hampden Park with a nasty wound round its abdomen. The wound was old and very badly infected with maggots inside. The wound appears to be caused by a snare.  There was then another call to a road casualty fox in Brighton. Luckily the RSPCA were close by and attended. Reports were that the fox had lost the use of its back legs and had started dragging itself into nearby bushes.

WRAS received a call to reports of a fox trapped in a tree on Friday. Rescuer Chris and I rushed to the address in Beachlands, Pevensey Bay and were shocked at what we saw. The fox had been caught in a low tree by its rear leg and was hanging there. We managed to carefully free the fox and assess him on site.  Back at our Casualty Centre he was assessed better, medication given, and then booked in as an emergency to have its leg better assessed and operated on at Cliffe Vets in Lewes. He was rushed into surgery and sadly during recovery the fox crashed. The vets battled to save its life but sadly he passed away. The length of time he was caught could have been a factor and could have caused an underlying problem.

Sovereign Harbour Seal Rescue (3)

Sovereign Harbour Seal Rescue (3)

There was also a beautiful swan rescued on the Golden Jubilee Way, Eastbourne. After getting a slight knock from a car and suffering minor abrasions from the landing, he was brought into care to be checked and have first aid treatment.

We have a little hoglet in from The Potteries in Ridgewood, found running round on his own during day light. He is a little underweight and smells ‘wormy’. He was soon tucking into dinner and will stay with us all winter now. Lindsay also now has the hard job of looking after a tiny 140g hoglet, very small for this time of year!

Chris and I spent over 3 hours spent trying to rescue some pigeons from under the floor boards of a former hotel in Eastbourne. Workmen had to lift the floor boards in order to help remove the pigeons and to ensure no youngsters were trapped. All the adults were helped out and luckily only one young pigeon was found and is now with WRAS. It’s not often you get builders and building owners who are so kind hearted and thoughtful when it comes round to ensuring the right action is taken so wildlife doesn’t suffer.

Swan Road Casualty from Eastbourne

Swan Road Casualty from Eastbourne

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.