TREVOR WEEKS MBE – Centre under pressure after spate of young rabbits need rescuing through the week

One of the many rabbits that came into our care last week.

One of the many rabbits that came into our care last week.

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We’ve had a spate of young rabbits come into care last week from different locations.

Some have been picked up by cats and dogs plus a couple of very emaciated rabbits which may have lost their mums and struggling to cope on their own. This week we have also managed to get five of our previous influx of young rabbits out into an outside pen and they should be suitable for a soft release soon.

With a number of rescuers off due to holiday, illness and other issues relating to family and their jobs, it has been difficult to keep on top of the calls.

However, we have managed quite well with and work some long hours balancing the needs of the casualties already in care with the needs of new casualties and people calling.

We sent an ambulance out three times last week after reports of an injured swan at Shinewater Park in Eastbourne. Every time we attended, the swan kept moving and hiding in the reeds so we can’t find it. Luckily a kind member of the public picked up the poor swan on the last call out and kept hold of her till our ambulance arrived. She was badly injured and was rushed to St Annes vets with serious injuries to her body and a badly fracture wing.

We have also responded to various calls for help including to a nest of shrews disturbed during some work at the Fire Brigade’s Training ground at Maresfield. Ambulances have also been out to a badly injured fox at Hyde Tynings Close in Eastbourne.

The mange fox with an abscess on his back, which we cage trapped in Bexhill a month ago, has been released back home this week. The fox had a minor form of mange when admitted, but a lump on her back turned out to be an abscess. This was drained and cleaned up by the vets and the fox has made a full recovery and her fur has completely re-grown.

We have been called to yet another pigeon caught in netting above a shop in Uckfield High Street. The netting and faeces from the birds nesting on and behind the netting is horrible and I really wonder why they have even bothered about the netting as it clearly isn’t doing what it was originally erect for. You can watch the rescue video at http://youtu.be/ggkMm1K-bxk.

There have been a few night time calls this week, including a road casualty fox at Mayfield.

A gentlemen phoned us to say how disappointed he was in us for trying to rescue the injured Canada Goose a couple of weeks ago at Heron’s Ghyll, because they are a horrible nasty introduced species which is getting rid of all our native geese and why we bother saving them is beyond him.

We often get asked by people why we bother with some species of wildlife, and they seem to have difficulty in understanding the easy answer. WRAS is a welfare organisation and regardless of whether we are called out to a wild rat, Canadian goose, buzzard or swan they would all be treated the same as living creatures which feel pain and suffer.

Conservation is a secondary factor in our work. As a charity we are also here to help, advise and support those who find sick, injured and orphaned wildlife. Our responsibility is to relieve the suffering and return to the wild where ever we can of these creatures. Sadly some people have an animal form of racism and only care about selected species and only some species should apparently be helped if suffering and in pain. WRAS will deal with any wildlife casualty which it has the resources and facilities to deal with. That is why our supporters donate to us and what they expect from our charity.

We have just had one of the busiest Easters in years after one of the quietest winters in six years. But when we get very busy it can be impossible for us to respond to everyone and send an ambulance out to everyone.

We will continue to try to help as many people as possible, but sadly the demand on organisations like us is much greater than the funding and resources. There is no government funding for charities like us nor any lottery funding available.

Every year we manage to increase the number of people and casualties we help. Donations can be made at www.wildlifeambulance.org or by calling 01825-873003 to help us help even more casualties.