Trevor’s Wildlife Week for 27th September 2018
Trainee Rescuer Nathan attended a brown long eared bat at the Sussex National Golf Course near Uckfield at the weekend. The bat was clinging to the walk close to the ground. The poor thing was very cold and lethargic and underweight so was taken straight up to Jenny Clark at the Sussex Bat Hospital in Forest Row where it is now being looked after.
I was called down to the Anne of Cleves House in Lewes last week. Two jackdaws had come down a chimney into a storage room above the café. I had to catch both of them with breaking anything, which was not easy with shelves full of café bits and pieces. However I managed it eventually and took them both down stairs where I released them in the garden.
Chris and I were called out to a badger which fell down a wall into a basement patio on St Leonards seafront. It was quite late at night and when we arrived the juvenile badger which was full of life clearly wants to get out of the patio which can’t have been anything more than 8ft by 8ft wide. After moving a number of plant pots and moving furniture around I was able to get a badger cage fairly close to the badger and guide him in using a dog gasper. There was certainly nothing wrong with the badger and he could be released in the above garden without needing to come into care. Using a ladder I climbed up to the garden above and Chris passed the cage up to me and then joined me for the release. The badger sniffed around for a while and then merrily trotted off up the garden and away.
Rescuers Keith, Ellie and student Kelly were called out to a wood pigeon, in Five Ash Down, who was caught by a cat and once escaped it went down a ditch into a drain. So rescuers used the drain keys to lift up the nearby drain cover and discovered the pigeon perching on the edge of the pipe. Kelly covered the other pipe opening with a net, while Ellie went around to the ditch opening with another net and Keith was feeding drain poles down to encourage the pigeon to go towards Ellie. Once caught, rescuers assessed the pigeon to see the extent of the wounds and they found a few small puncture wounds from the cat attack, along with a fungal infection in the throat known as canker. Luckily this is easily treatable with antibiotics and the pigeon is now bedded down at the centre.
We have also had several dog attacked hedgehogs this week. Most of which have been ok, after initial treatment and care, but a few are having to be kept and wounds allowed to heal before they can be released. One hedgehog unfortunately didn’t survive due to internal injuries.
The other common call we are getting at the moment is to young wood pigeons with canker, a fungal infection, in their throats. The off-white colour growth in their mouths builds up to the point that they can’t swallow food. One of the biggest causes of the spread of this illness is contaminated food on bird tables. It is really important to clear up old food so that it doesn’t go off and then birds try to eat it. Infected bird will drop seeds they have tried to eat making the seed infected, which then passes the fungus onto the bird which eats the seed. So please make sure you are cleaning your bird tables on a regular basis.
Due to how ill Chris and I have been over the past couple of months, we have decided to temporarily close our out of hours service. So from 10pm till 9am we will not be able to respond to rescues. This is to give Chris and I a much needed break and to recuperate. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause and in an emergency please contact your local emergency veterinary centre or call the RSPCA on 03001234999. We hope this will not be for too long.