TREVOR WEEKS MBE - Abandoned baby hedgehogs are now being hand-reared

Trevor weeks

Trevor weeks

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Last week a gentlemen handed in some baby hedgehogs to a vets’ practice.

From what we understand, his dog was pestering a hedgehog in his garden. He decided to move the hedgehog up onto the Downs at Butts Brow above Eastbourne where he released it. On his return and after letting his dog out he then discovered she had given birth to and now been separated from four baby hedgehogs. Unable to now find mum, he picked them up and delivered them to the vets. We were called and WRAS carer Monica now has them in care and they are being hand reared.

Under the Abandonment of Animals Act it is made clear that reasonable care must be taken to ensure the future wellbeing of any animal being released.

It is therefore deemed unacceptable for animals to be relocated and dumped into areas outside their home range without being soft released into that area. In the same way it is illegal for pest control officers in towns and cities to catch foxes and take them out to the countryside and release them.

This is illegal for several reasons but primarily due to the fact that the animal will not know where the local food sources are, they will not know places of safety and shelter, will not know local hazards or types of predators, and can cause reliant young to be abandoned and starve to death as a result.

When we find ourselves in a situation where we are releasing a wildlife casualty back to the wild away from its original location outside its home range then we have no choice but to rehabilitate them to the new area using soft release pens where they are slowly introduced to the new area.

To rear these orphans will cost over £350 in care, food, caging and rehabilitation which could have been avoided. I hope this information helps and that this situation can be avoided in future.

We had another hedgehog in this week which had a horrible maggot infested wound. The vets then used anaesthetics to examine the hedgehog fully and clean up the injury and remove all the maggots.

The following day one of the rear legs had to be amputated as a result of the damage. Now in our care, the hedgehog should make a full recovery.

We also have two other hedgehogs recovering well from amputations after severely infected leg injuries so it has been an expensive week for us, thank you to all the vets for their help as always.

On June 29, Karen Breese, Geoff Depper, Helen Tickner, Roberto F Proietti, Bobby Kelleher, Debbie Morley and Ian Pusey will be taking part in the Three Peaks Challenge to raise money for WRAS. They have just 24 hours to get to the top of the highest peaks in England, Scotland and Wales! Thank you to Euro Self Drive based in Eastbourne Road, Westham, for kindly donating the use of a minibus for the event. Please help support them. You can donate at www.justgiving.com/4challenges4wildlife or by visiting Karen at Checkers Barbers, in Seaside, Eastbourne.

Many thanks to Justine at Paws & Claws, Uckfield, for filling Kathy’s car with more generous donations of bags of dog and kitten biscuits, bird seed, feeders, cat food, disinfectants and other things as well as £45 from their charity box and to Mrs Collett, one of her customers, for the donation of Spike’s hog food.

We had a lovely grass snake come into the centre after being entangled in garden netting at Amberstone near Hailsham.

The snake was transported to WRAS’s Casualty Centre and the remainder of the netting cut free before being sprayed and taken out for release.

We are looking for volunteers to join our great weekend teams. If you are interested, contact Kathy at kathy@eastsussexwras.org.uk