Time consuming rescues over festive holiday period

Manager Dervis Gurol dressed as Captain America to raise money for WRAS.

Manager Dervis Gurol dressed as Captain America to raise money for WRAS.

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Happy New Year everyone, I hope you all enjoyed your Christmas and New Year. This festive period has been slightly quieter than normal for us, although we have had more time consuming rescues.

I would like to say a big thank you to all our volunteers who work so hard over Christmas and the New Year to ensure all the casualties were fed, watered and looked after correctly. I would like to thank Chris, Lindsay and Kirsti for providing much need cover over Christmas to allow me to take some days off and be at home on Christmas Day for the first time in more than six years.

This young pigeon was rescued in Pevensey Bay.

This young pigeon was rescued in Pevensey Bay.

This week we have dealt with a young pigeon rescued in Innings Drive Pevensey Bay with a nasty head injury after being caught by a predator. We also have a gorgeous pigeon rescued by Tony in Meads Street, Eastbourne, rather underweight and cold. Rescuer Tony has also been into Brighton to help Shirley from Rogers Wildlife Rescue in rescuing some birds caught in and behind netting. Help was also received from the local fire service too. We have had a mange fox come in for care too. At 6.20am Sunday morning rescuers rushed to a house in St Leonards after they woke to find an owl in their house. It is thought the owl may have come down the chimney. The owl is a bit lethargic and underweight so has been admitted into WRAS care. We are continuing to get hedgehogs coming in and now have just over 80 in care. The mild spell before Christmas allowed us to release a few short term adult hedgehog casualties back to their nests.

With winter weather starting we have received a number of calls about swans thought to be trapped in ice. Rarely are they trapped. They often sit on ice and tuck their feet into their feathers to keep warm and stay in the same position for hours on end, but are not stuck. Their body temperature will often prevent them from becoming stuck. They will give the appearance of being stuck while trying to push themselves across the ice, but normally this is just where the ice is slippery and they struggled to get a grip to push themselves along. Over the past 20 years we have been called out hundreds of times to swans thought to be stuck in ice and never have any of them end up with legs trapped in ice - this very rarely happens. If you genuinely think a swan is caught, please call us and we will investigate, but please do not call just because a swan is sitting on ice or not coming over to you because you are throwing food to the swan. It is normal for swans to go onto open water on lakes which are freezing and they quite happy will get on and off the ice although it can be slippery and not very elegant.

Congratulations to our friends Jenny Clark founder of the Sussex Bat Hospital and Dot Beeson founder of the Swan Sanctuary who have been listed on the New Year’s Honours List and were made Members of the Order of the British Empire (MBE). Congratulations and very much deserved.

We are also starting to get calls about foxes screaming and calling during the night and people mistaking them for being distressed or injured. Next week I’ll talk more about why this happening.

A mange fox brought in for care.

A mange fox brought in for care.

WRAS would like to thank the staff and customers of Maximum Diner in Uckfield who have been raising funds to help support WRAS this winter. Christmas Week WRAS was presented with a very full collection tin with £102.60. Every Monday they made a donation for every collection order placed. Christmas Eve Manager Dervis Gurol even dressed in a Captain America Onesie served customer all night to help raise money!

We would also like to thank everyone who made donations via our Amazon Wish List or donated via our website over Christmas. Your support is very much appreciated. Thank you.

One of the many hedgehogs in our care.

One of the many hedgehogs in our care.

Maximum Diner in Ukfield have been raising funds to help WRAS this winter. WRAS was presented with a very full collection tin with �102.60.

Maximum Diner in Ukfield have been raising funds to help WRAS this winter. WRAS was presented with a very full collection tin with �102.60.