TREVOR WEEKS MBE - Cats and foxes on the prowl as victims come into care

This pigeon was found covered in engine oil
This pigeon was found covered in engine oil

We have had a pigeon in with a nasty neck wound. Luckily, this is only tissue damage. After some cleaning, medication and suturing we hope he will make a full recovery.

The cause is likely to be a bird of prey. Cats have also been caught causing a few casualties this week including a young rabbit which sadly didn’t survive. Getting antibiotics into a victim of a cat, dog or any predator attack is important due to the bacteria which is carried on their teeth and claws. It only takes a small pin prick puncture wound, so just because you can’t see an open wound doesn’t mean the casualty doesn’t need an antibiotic.

One of the many hedgehogs in care

One of the many hedgehogs in care

I felt sorry for a woman who, after donating and dropping off some towels at our Casualty Centre, came across a road casualty duck on the A22 on her way home. Care team members Kirsti and Chris quickly assessed and provided first aid and WRAS Trustees Brian and Monica, who were visiting the centre, helped rush the duck to the emergency vets.

A young pigeon came in to us from vets in Eastbourne. He was believed to have been covered in engine oil.

After assessment by centre manger Chris and being seen by vet Mike, he was given a course of antibiotics and daily baths were commenced. He has taken to be bathed quite well and particularly enjoys the low heat from the hair dryer afterwards.

His feathers are improving daily. He has become a little character and we hope there are no lasting effects from his ordeal. Being a youngster he is also in need of crop feeding too.

WRAS rescuers Chris and Laura rushed to reports of a collared dovelet that had been on the ground all day. The staff at the Star Inn at Normans Bay noticed her early on and raised concerns on Facebook. They were eventually given WRAS contact details and WRAS attended. Unfortunately the dove was nowhere to be seen and had disappeared into some thorn bushes on arrival. Rescuers and the staff eventually spotted her under a rotten log. She is calcium deficient and has now been taken to her new foster mum Kathy.

We’ve had a few hedgehogs in this week. One came in from Newhaven after being trapped inside a lobster pot! He has rather a sore nose and right foot, and a minor touch of ringworm, but otherwise not too bad. A few young blackbirds and a baby robin have also come in. First ones of the year! They have been more mature than we’ve expecting. Most of the youngsters are coming in calcium deficient.

There have been a lot of facebook reports recently about foxes attacking cats. A recent study showed that fox numbers in the southeast of England are declining, one of the few areas where that is the case. However because people have little knowledge of the fox’s lifestyle, they jump to conclusions about the number of foxes present. There are times during the year when foxes are more active, and the population appears higher. And once the cubs are old enough to start wondering round you notice an increase in their numbers, but so many are killed on roads, poisoned, shot and killed by dogs, that the population decreases back down within six months. The average life span of a fox is only 18 months, despite foxes being able to live for up to eight years. As with all wildlife, because of the high mortality rates, they produce a lot of young to ensure the future of the species.

Foxes like most wildlife can be noisy, but again this goes on for a short period of time while mating or being territorial during the spring.