TREVOR WEEKS MBE - Calls about gull chicks are flooding in

Chris with Sherman the septic tank fox
Chris with Sherman the septic tank fox

This is certainly the star at our casualty centre at the moment, as we are looking after this albino hedgehog.

A gentleman from Hove delivered him across to WRAS a few days ago after finding him out during the day in his garden. He is about 250grams. Sadly studies have shown that they don’t survive well being released back into the wild, so he will be allowed to live as if wild, in a huge old Victorian walled garden.

The Albino hedgehog

The Albino hedgehog

We are receiving up to 30 calls about gull chicks and young gulls every day, meaning our phone lines are extremely busy as we also receiving all the regular types of calls too. We have seen our first few fledgling gulls this week, so there are signs we are heading towards the end of the gull season. If you have a gull which falls off your roof, please try you utmost to try and get it back on the roof where it came from. It doesn’t need to be on the nest, but off the ground on the roof. If you have an extension roof, or garage roof which is slightly lower, then that will do. Very small newly hatched chicks really need to go back where the nest is. Bringing young gulls into care should only be done as a last resort, when no other options are available. With so many people calling after finding them on the ground, it would be impossible to find space for all of them to come in. If you have a young grey gull with proper feathers, check to see how long the fight feathers are. If they are touching and starting to cross above the base of the tail, then they are a fledgling and should be left alone or moved out of the road and into the nearest garden for safely. People get worried about whether the parent gulls are coming down to feed their youngsters. Unlike blue tits which will feed every 15minutes or so, gull are much less frequent. During the heat of the day they often don’t feed at all, preferring to feed during the early hours and in the evening when cooler. The guys at RSPCA Mallydams, Rogers Wildlife Rescue, Seahaven Bird Rescue, Chris and Lyn at Bexhill and Bird Aid are all working very hard along with ourselves to deal with the hundreds of calls a week we all received, please support them all the best you can.

We have had three foxes admitted this week. Two the same night, both road casualties. The first was late at night near the Sovereign Leisure Centre in Eastbourne and the other was from Arlington. Both were seen by the emergency vets at Highcroft Vets in Hailsham. One had possible pelvis injuries and the other had fractured ribs, but the vet felt that as the foxes were young they would heal quickly and without any problems. The Sovereign Leisure Centre fox picked up very quickly and was very lively within 48 hours. After another couple of days rest, the fox was returned and released as it was so lively and constantly trying to get out of his cage. The Arlington fox was a bit more poorly. Unable to use his rear legs when admitted, but with medication and care at our centre the fox started to use his legs again after 4 days. He’s recovery will be slower but we expect him to make a full recovery. The third fox we had in was from Cootes Vets at Burgess Hill, it was delivered to them after builders at Ardingly rescued the cub after falling into a septic tank! Not surprisingly the vets didn’t want to handle the fox. Rescuer Dave collected the fox and delivered him across to WRAS. Our Assistant Manager Chris donned protective clothing in order to shower down the cub and remove the human faeces from his fur. The smell was not pleasant. We hope he will also be releasable very soon.

Thank you to Colin who did his first every bungee jump at the weekend. He has raised over £300 for WRAS so far. He wanted it to be more like £500 so please support him by visiting his just giving page https://www.justgiving.com/Colin-Brown32. At 10am last Sunday he jumped at the Octagon at Brighton Marina. Please show your support for Colin and WRAS.

Other rescues this week have included a crow in Denton Road with a fractured wing, a gull chick in Sydney Road, an adult gull in Hartfield road, all Eastbourne. We have collected a hedgehog, gull chick and young tit from St Annes Vets. We have also dealt with a hedgehog in Roselands Avenue in Eastbourne, a thrush in Windmill Hill and an injured pigeon, Newton Road, in Lewes as well as many more casualties. Kathy and I were out at the weekend too dealing with a wren trapped under a fridge freezer at Framfield, which involved having to move a very large fridge out and crawling around in dust and dirt. The wren was eventually caught and released out in the garden. Also at Ridgewood, Uckfield, a huge baby Serotine Bat which at first we thought was dead, but suddenly moved. It was very cold, wet, rigid, but just about breathing. After some emergency treatment, and warmth on site the bat started to pick up and has been rushed up to Jenny Clark at the Sussex Bat Hospital at Forest Row.

A road casualty fox found at Sovereign Leisure Centre in Eastbourne

A road casualty fox found at Sovereign Leisure Centre in Eastbourne

Designs are coming in for our T-shirt Competition. They need to be a single light colour on a dark blue or black background. The final T-shirts will be screen printed so the design can’t be too complicated and obviously mention East Sussex WRAS, its registered charity number 1108880 and website www.wildlifeambulance.org. The best design will be awarded some gift vouchers and a hamper. To enter free of charge please e-mail designs to me at trevor@eastsussexwras.org.uk. Entries close by 7th July. The judge’s decision will be final and announced on our facebook page.

We are having problems with our phone lines at the moment, one the draw backs of being out in the countryside. BT engineers spent two days dealing with the problems last week and more time this week. We hope the problems are now solved and sorry for any inconvenience caused by not being able to get through to us.

We are desperately short of clean blankets, towels and pillow cases, as well as newspapers. Towels more than anything are needed if you have them. Sorry but we can’t take pillows, duvets, clothing, or magazines. If you are able to drop them at our centre at Whitesmith to save the charity money it would be much appreciated, please give us a ring for directions on 01825-873003.