Trevor’s Week for 15th July 2015
Another extremely busy week and some amazingly long days too. I would like to thank my colleague Chris for working some exceptionally long days with me recently – up to 21 hours in a day at times. There have been times when we have been so stretched that it has been impossible to return all calls or attend on site to everyone who needs us. But we are trying our best, but if we don’t take some time to sleep or recuperate we’re not going to be any use to any casualties. If you don’t hear back from us please try other organisations like the RSPCA or consider taking casualties to your local emergency vets practice. Good veterinary practices do not charge members of the public for handing in wildlife casualties. It’s a sad fact that organisations like ours have limited resources and can’t match the high demand on our service at this time of year.
This beautiful Fallow deer fawn was delivered to us this morning after being found caught in fencing up the road in Whitesmith. After 2 days trapped he was absolutely covered in fly eggs and maggots, which have now been removed. Thank you to Chris and Sylvia for taking him in to their care.
Sainsbury’s Heathfield Store raises £3068 to help East Sussex WRAS help hundreds of wild animals and birds across East Sussex. Over the past year they have been raising money for WRAS within the store. We are really pleased and proud of all their hard work.
WRAS volunteer Monica Russell who has dedicated more than 20 years to helping sick, injured or orphaned animals – despite her own ill health in later years – has been recognised with a national honour. She has been given a British Citizen Award for her services to volunteering and charitable giving. Monica became involved in wildlife recue after a chance encounter with a hedgehog she found one weekend. She took it to a local veterinarian, who said he would have to put it down unless Monica wanted to look after it herself. Often going above and beyond the call of duty, she has cared for sick and orphaned wildlife day and night – sometimes having to get up hourly to feed baby hedgehogs, fox cubs and stoats to name but a few. All this has been done alongside holding down full and part-time jobs. Monica became ill in 2012, and was diagnosed with cholangiocarcinoma, or bile duct cancer, in 2014 – of those diagnosed with this rare form of cancer, only five per cent survive for more than 12 months. Monica was forced to give up her practical carer work at the end of 2014 due to her deteriorating health, and continues to have chemotherapy to date to improve her quality of life, but continues as a WRAS trustee. Monica’s passion and dedication to helping people who find sick, injured and orphaned animals has been outstanding and I am so pleased her dedication has been recognised and honoured.
At the moment we have 2 female hedgehogs with babies in care, 1 gave birth the night after she arrived having been picked up by a dog, her 5 youngsters are now 3 weeks old and doing well, the other female is the one from a school playing field in Hailsham, she gave birth 2 weeks ago and also has 5 babies, both sets of hedgehogs are in Kathy’s maternity shed. The female hedgehog who came in from Michelham Road, Uckfield 3 weeks ago who we suspected was pregnant was released back where she was found after a check up. Sadly last week we were called to the address next to where she was found as the householders had found 4 baby hedgehogs lying on their back lawn. There was another baby still in an amazingly well built nest. The babies were around 2 weeks old, and although hungry and clearly hadn’t been fed for a while they looked healthy. Sadly it looks like something must have happened to Mum but she did a great job while she was with them.
We have also been very busy releasing lots of our handreared baby birds, 9 blackbirds have just been released, as well as a large group of tits, dunnocks and sparrows. We have also released the 3rd group of ducklings, but gained another 10, so we now still have 33 in care. The eldest 2 groups have gone into outdoor pens now, for a few weeks before they are released. The other 2 groups are quite a bit younger and wil be with us for a while yet. We have also released 7 handreared feral pigeons , 7 handreared wood pigeons, and moved our hand reared crows into their release aviary after the magpies left home. Our 2 buzzard chicks who have been eating us out of house and home have kindly been taken on for the rest of their care by Wildlife Aid, as they have much larger aviaries than we do so they will have plenty of flight space to build up their muscles ready for the wild.