Rescuers from East Sussex Wildlife Rescue & Ambulance Service (WRAS) and the RSPCA were jointly involved in a rescue mission to catch a male mallard duck at the Pells Pond in Lewes on Tuesday 29th October 2019. Members of the public made numerous calls to WRAS and the RSPCA and initial attempts failed to catch the duck as it was so mobile. Rescuers from East Sussex WRAS decided to get a larger team of rescuers to try and catch the duck which had a fishing hook embedded in its upper beak and also attached to its chest, meaning it was not able to eat properly, nor fly properly.
Two veterinary ambulances from East Sussex WRAS attended with 6 rescuers at around 11.30am. “We tried a couple of attempts to get the duck at one end of the pond, but it just about managed to fly past us each time. Further attempts were made to catch the duck on the islands or in the narrow channel at the side of the islands but the duck refused to be caught. I knew the only way we were going to catch the duck was to get in the water. Unfortunately I had left my dry suit behind so I had to get in and get wet, but luckily having been in the pond numerous times on rescues I was well aware of the substrate” said Trevor Weeks MBE founder of East Sussex WRAS.
As the rescuer were re-grouping the RSPCA turned up providing additional help in the water so with a team of three people in the water and numerous people on the bank the duck was corralled at one end and Trevor managed to net the duck as it tried to escape passed the rescuers in the water.
“There was no way either the RSPCA or WRAS on their own would have been able to catch the duck, and both WRAS and the RSPCA were really pleased to help each other out and end up with successful rescue” added Trevor, “This was a great bit of team work betweenj us all. I was able to cut the hook to relieve the pressure on the ducks beak and chest.”
Back at WRAS’s Casualty Centre at Whitesmith, Vet Chris Hall from Henley House Vets in Uckfield, examined the duck and was safely able to remove the embedded section of hook in the chest. “We are pleased with the ducks condition and after some antibiotics it should make a complete recovery” said Katie Nunn Nash Lead Casualty Manager at WRAS.
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: 07494-126280
Unit 8 The Shaw Barn, Whitesmith, East Sussex, BN8 6JD.