Trevor’s Week for 2nd December 2015.
We have had a couple of Guillemots come into care this week. They have both been juveniles and underweight. The healthy one is now with the RSPCA at Hastings, but the lighter one which is in more critical condition is with Bird Aid. The juvenile birds which over winter in the Channel can get separated from the shoals of fish they follow in stormy weather. It is thought that as fish stocks at sea are low, they can struggle to find suitable shoals of fish to follow, if they get separated during stormy weather.
Emaciation in wildlife is very common in juvenile wildlife at this time of year, as some of them struggle to cope without parents looking after them and helping them find food. Hygiene is also very important too as these birds will scavenge off whatever they can find, so ensuring rotting seed and mouldy food is not left out is important, as is not throwing stale or mouldy bread to ducks at park ponds too. Plus remember to clean your bird feeders and disinfect them once a week at least.
We have had ducks, birds of prey, pigeons, partridges, foxes and hedgehogs all come in emaciated. They can be very difficult in advance states to save, but we are managing to bring some of them back to health. We never put animals down just because they are emaciated; we always give them a chance.
Our Christmas Craft Fair is on Saturday (5th Dec) at East Dean & Friston Village Hall, Village Green Way, off Gilberts Drive, East Dean, BN20 0DJ. Doors open at 2pm till 5pm. Entry is free of charge. There will be various craft stalls with a wide variety of gifts and good at affordable prices. There will be refreshments too. Please come along and pick up some Christmas gifts, like our new WRAS shopping bags or a copy of my book which I could even sign for you!
We have collected another hedgehog from Sandy Cross Lane, Heathfield this week. She has now named “Chewbacca”, she is 440g but other than being a bit damp looks healthy. She spent the night at Kathy’s hedgehog shed before going to our Casualty Centre. We also have what could be her sister Luke Skywalker, Darth Vader and Hans Solo who came in last month from the same garden. Sadly Hans didn’t make it and had a nasty facial injury, Darth Vader is slow to gain weight compared to sister Luke who is big enough to go into the over wintering shed already. I must apologise for the naming of our hedgehogs, last month’s theme was Star Wars and as not all of our volunteer can sex hedgehogs they sometimes get given names of the wrong gender – it does get confusing sometimes!
Our rescuers had to rush a hedgehog to the out of hours emergency vets in Brighton this week after rescuing him in Newhaven. A strimmer injury has caused the hedgehog to lose a leg. It was operated on by New Priory Veterinary Hospital and is now back at our Casualty Centre. This is likely to cost several hundred pounds in veterinary care, and more in recovery and rehabilitation at our Casualty Centre. Fingers cross he will be suitable to be released back to the wild still, but is now likely to have to stay in for the winter.
We have had a few issues over the past couple of weeks with people finding hedgehogs too small to hibernate or out during the day; who have just passed the hedgehogs to friends or relatives to release in their gardens rather than allowing them to be taken into care. This has sometime been because people don’t like hedgehogs or have dogs and don’t want hedgehogs visiting their gardens or even just because someone wants a hedgehog for this garden. We can’t stress strongly enough how wrong this is and in many cases actually illegal to move them and release them without seeking veterinary attention. Please if you find an underweight hedgehog or one out during the day, pick it up and seek help.
Some of the rescue calls this week have included a baby feral pigeon found outside Uckfield Garage; a very poorly wood pigeon with severe Canker at Isfield; an injured pigeon in Terminus Road Eastbourne; an injured rabbit on the A22 Uckfield By-pass; a hedgehog in Southfields, Polegate and a road casualty fox with broken ribs in Sainsburys, Hampden Park to name just a few.
The most bizarre incident of the week saw Kathy having to stop to help a ram at Buckham Hill between Isfield and Uckfield which came running down the road towards her after rescuing a pigeon at Isfield. Rescuer Chris and I attended on site to help get the ram into a nearby field. Several local residents tried to help find the owner without success, this is becoming a more frequent problem trying to find the owner of livestock as more and more rent parcels of land over quite a wide area and not necessarily where they live.
Trevor Weeks MBE
Founder & Operations Director
East Sussex Wildlife Rescue & Ambulance Service (WRAS)
Reg Charity 1108880
Reg Address: 8 Stour Close, Stone Cross, BN24 5QU
Hospital Address: Unit 8 The Shaw Barn, Whitesmith, Lewes, BN8 6JD
24hr Rescue Line: 07815-078234
Private Mobile: 07931-523958
An award winning community charity.
IFAW Animal Action Award Winners 2010
ITV1 British Animal Honours Awards Local Charity of the Year 2013
BBC Radio Sussex & Surrey Community Heroes Award for Animal Welfare 2012