East Sussex Wildlife Rescue & Ambulance Service had a very busy night which ended this morning (Tuesday) with one of its veterinary ambulances rush to the aid of a badly injured gull inside a dustbin next to Eastbourne Skate Park at Hampden Park.
Grounds staff at the park contacted WRAS after discovering the gull still alive in the bin.
When WRAS’s veterinary ambulance arrived 20 minutes later the bird had sadly passed away.
Volunteers believe the Herring Gull was possibly attacked by a dog or fox and then dumped in the bin by someone passing by.
“There is no way the gull could have got into the bin of its own accord,” said Trevor Weeks from WRAS.
“The grounds staff told us the bird was alive when they went to empty the bin and they could see the bird was badly injured and bleeding.”
Mr Weeks said the bird was found to have several large wounds around its neck and body.
“It’s not the fact the bird was attacked that worries me,” he said. “It’s the fact someone put a seriously injured and suffering bird into a bin. I hope they did so because they wanted to protect it and were going to call someone for help. Although the person who put the gull in the bin was not there when we arrived.”
WRAS is now urging people to not leave injured wildlife and to seek help.
“If you find a sick, injured or orphaned wild animal or bird please call a rescue organisation for advice,” said Mr Weeks.
“We are very busy at this time of year and if we can’t get to you quickly or you can’t get through and it is badly injured please take the casualty to your nearest emergency veterinary centre where they will provide emergency first aid and generally pass on casualties to rescue organisations such as WRAS. Trustworthy and reputable veterinary centres don’t charge members of the public when handing in injured wildlife.
“Once you pick up a casualty you are legally responsible for it, so dumping it in a bin and walking away would actually be an offence.”
Other casualties treated over the weekend included a hedgehog from Denton covered in millions of maggots, a road casualty Tawny Owl at Turners Hill, a gull at Pevensey Bay with a large hook lodged in its mouth, a fox cub wandering disorientated in the road at Heathfield, a road casualty badger at Burwash, and a gull with a broken wing on Hastings seafront.