Trevor’s Week for 12th October.
This buzzard is now in care at WRAS after being found caught up in a wire fence at Crowhurst. Chris from Bexhill Wildlife Rescue attended on site to cut the bird free. He took the bird back to his home in Bexhill where he was met by WRAS rescuer Tony Neads who delivered the buzzard across to WRAS’s Casualty Centre where emergency medication was given and a full assessment done. The bird had a hole through the soft tissue of the wing as well as several puncture wounds some of which needed suturing. There was a lot of bruising, but it is hoped that the bird will make a fully recover.
I was called out at 2am on Sunday morning after one of our volunteers noticed some people in Brighton kicking a pigeon along the street. Unable to get hold of anyone more local, she rang WRAS’s emergency line and I jumped out of bed and drove across to help. The pigeon didn’t seem too bad when I first arrived. However, when I got back to our Casualty Centre I was able to assess the bird better only to discover one wing was fractured. The bird was given emergency medication and bedded down for the rest of the night. The poor chap was better assessed when Casualty Manager Chris arrived for work in the morning where a broken leg was also detected. The poor bird is now being looked after at our hospital and only time will tell whether the injuries will heal well enough for release.
Our new Vet Sophie Common attended an emergency call out with me on Thursday last week after we received an emergency call about a fox at Sheepsetting Lane Heathfield. The fox had an old necrotic neck wound covered in fly strike and maggots. It looked like it might have been an old bite wound. Vet Sophie was able to administer medication out on site to help end the foxes suffering.
A 400gram hedgehog has been admitted from Park Close, Burgess Hill after getting a leg stuck between two pieces of decorative slate around the border of a garden. The lady covered the hedgehog over and called East Sussex WRAS for help. I drove across and was on site within an hour and pulled apart the slate so the hedgehog’s leg could be safely removed. As with any ligature or pressure wounds, wild animals should not be just released, but taken to a rescue centre for observation. On checking over this hedgehog it was found to have a missing rear leg and an old injury to a front leg too. Our vets have checked over the legs and at the moment are not sure if this hedgehog will be suitable for release back to the wild but she might be suitable for our walled garden.
WRAS Rescuer Chris Riddington had a busy night last week after being called to an injured seal on Hastings Beach. The seal was suffering from a large open abscess to the side of its mouth. Members of the public stayed with the seal preventing it from going back into the water till rescuers arrived. Once caught the seal was driven over to RSPCA Mallydams Wood at Hastings where they have specialist seal facilities. We understand he is improving and doing well now.
Chris and I also attended a swan entangled in fishing line on the River Ouse at Lewes last week. The swan had a long length of braided fishing line wrapped round its body, wings and legs. Chris paddled out with the boat and I swam across wearing a drysuit. At first we though the swan was going to stay in the bushes and hide but it suddenly attempted to fly off down the river but when the line became taut the swan flipped round and started struggling in the water. We though the line was going to break and the swan get loose, but the braided line was so strong even a 10kg swan couldn’t break it. The swan was caught and taken back to our Casualty Centre where it was checked over and the line fully removed. Luckily the line was not tightly wrapped round the wings or legs so after assessment the swan was returned and released again as there was a partner present. This is completely inappropriate fishing line to be using on such a river as this and if a 10kg swan can’t break the line then it clearly isn’t suitable for use on a river. WRAS were called out by the Keeper of the River who is going to speak to local fisherman. Most fishermen are very responsible and I’ve known them to swim out and remove caught line from bushes to prevent it causing problems to our wildlife, but sadly not everyone is so responsible. We would really like anglers to think twice before casting near vegetation and over hanging trees and bushes where line is likely to become caught up and use an appropriate strength of line for the environment too.
Trevor Weeks MBE
Founder & Operations Director
East Sussex Wildlife Rescue & Ambulance Service (WRAS)
Reg Charity 1108880
24Hr Rescue Line: 07815-078234
Trevor’s Private Mobile: 07931-523958
Unit 8 The Shaw Barn, Whitesmith, East Sussex, BN8 6JD.