Trevor’s Week for 16th December 2015.
The most common question asked this week is should my hedgehog be hibernating by now? Well the answer is not straight forward. Hibernation is more weather and temperature based than time of year. They can start hibernating from as early as October and will continue right into the Spring. They often wake up and will sometime move location too. Last year we had hedgehogs which were still hibernating right up till May. We all talk about hibernating hedgehogs as if they are asleep and that they will “wake up” from hibernation. Amazingly hedgehogs are not really asleep, they just lower their temperature and enter a state of torpor to save energy and slow their bodies down to appear asleep. It is important that hedgehogs have a good fat reserve before they hibernate as this is what they live off during hibernation. Hedgehogs can die in hibernation or come out of hibernation in very poor condition if they do not have adequate fat reserves when they start hibernation.
As its Christmas have you thought about going on our Amazon Wish List to send our casualties a Christmas gift? We have several pages of items on our list which you can choose from and send to help our casualties recovering over this festive period. You can find the list at http://www.amazon.co.uk/registry/wishlist/35VQCQWZZ8PM1.
The current temperatures are fairly mild for the time of year and as a result it is not uncommon, especially in sheltered areas which catch the morning sun, for hedgehogs to be active still. We often find that the more mature hedgehogs also hibernate for longer with less breaks too.
Korma, the hedgehog, is having a rough time suffering from ringworm. Three times a week we have to bath him in an anti-fungal wash. Care Assistant Katie has been doing a great job bathing him and drying him afterwards. It’s important they don’t get too cold after they have been washed so they get tried carefully and have a heat pad to keep them warm too. Korma was rescued a couple of weeks ago from Mill Brooks at South Chailey.
Rescues this week have included this fox from Gibbon Road in Newhaven which has a bite wound on his head. He was rescued on Thursday night last week by rescuers Kai and Chris. Mike our vet came to the centre and sedated the fox and cleaned up the poor creatures injuries. Our Sainsburys fox which had broken ribs is doing really well and is very close to being releasable. He is now in a large indoor pen to monitor his movements, but should be suitable for release in time for Christmas. The same is hoped with Frammel the Framfield fox which was admitted weeks ago collapsed and covered in severe mange. He is also now in an indoor pen and we are checking his muscle tone and ensuring he is walking and running well enough, plus to give his coat suitable time to recover and grow thick enough for the winter weather before he is released again.
We have an owl which has come into care from Duddleswell which is north of Uckfield on the Ashdown Forest. The bird was trapped in the chimney for a couple of days. After some advice from WRAS the owl was encouraged down and out of the chimney where WRAS rescuers were then able to collect and bring the owl into care. The Tawny Owl only needed 24 hours rest and recuperation before being test flown and then released back outside the house where found. Hopefully he won’t go back inside the chimney!
We have been down to Hove to try and catch a gull with a cross bow bolt through its chest a few times over the past week. As yet we have not had any luck in catching the bird which can still fly. The bolt has apparently been there for well over a month and appears to be under the superficial layers of skin only and not through the chest cavity. This is one lucky gull. It appears to be coping, surviving and flying well, which doesn’t make catching him at all easy.
Thank you to everyone who has been down to the Eastbourne Bandstand Christmas Market this past week it has been a great event and we have met some fantastic people too. We have just purchased over £800 worth of cat food for the hedgehogs which will last about 6 weeks, so this can be an expensive time of year for us.
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