TREVOR WEEKS MBE - Getting to know your local hedgehog at awareness day

The team that rescued the moorhen at Pells Pool in Lewes
The team that rescued the moorhen at Pells Pool in Lewes
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We will be running another of our hedgehog awareness days on Saturday October 12.

Throughout the day there will be presentations at 10am, noon, 2pm, 4pm and 6pm looking at hedgehogs the their biology, habits and diets as well as looking at hazards and illnesses which they and how we can help, and when they should be picked up and taken into care. Visitors will also get the opportunity to meet “Victoria” the hedgehog which was injured as a result of being kicked in Eastbourne. As there is limited parking we are asking people to book places in advance. The sessions are free but we are asking for a minimum donation of £5 per person. To book a place please call 01825-873003.

For the past week we have been trying to catch an injured moorhen at the Pells Pond, Lewes. The poor bird’s leg has been pointing backwards and has not been able to swim properly. Several rescuers tried throughout the week without success, so we ended up getting a group of us together to attempt the rescue. A net was stretched across from the bank to the island to help corner the moorhen, rescuers monitored the birds position from the banks, while I climbed into a drysuit and then into the pond. The moorhen gave us a bit of a run around going onto the island and trying to hide, but was eventually encouraged onto the water where it attempted to dive and hide under water, unfortunately the moorhens injured leg was still above the water allowing us to find the bird quickly and rescue him. The moorhen has been transported up to the Swan Sanctuary for their specialist vets to assess and try to fix.

An update on some of the hedgehogs in our care. “Victoria” the young hog used as a football is doing great, responding to her worming treatment and is now nearly 400g. She is walking well on her broken leg. The police have even been to visit her too. “Crayon” the young hog found down a drain is also doing well. They will both be with us till spring. Two little male hedgehogs hand-reared by Monica are now over 400g but again it is unlikely they will be released this year. “Belgium” one of our amputee hogs is going to his new home this week as is “Dandelion” the head tilt hog, who is going into a lovely area.

Three other hand-reared youngsters are also off to their release site this week where they will be well taken care of for the winter. “Mango” our frequent flyer, who seems to think that if he drops below 1.2kg he needs help and TLC is also waiting to go home. Two other young hogs “Rubber” and “Kylie” are also putting on weight nicely but will again, be here all winter. Two new youngsters over the weekend are “Canteen”, from a road where the hedgehogs have had a lot of problems the past few years, and “Library” a little female from outside rescuer Tony’s house in Polegate.

Both just seem to need to gain weight and faecal samples have been clear so far. “Newton” who had a nasty eye infection is nearing the end of her treatment so being a large girl she should be ok for release soon. “Izzy” the hoglet caught in the Christmas decoration at the Laughing Fish Pub at Isfield, is doing very well still, but again unlikely to reach hibernation weight in time. “Sharpener” a little hog who came in with very swollen tissue around his eye socket is now improving and the swelling and redness have gone down. The eye is receded but his other eye is perfect. “Barlow” the youngest of the 3 hogs from a garden in Buxted is gaining weight fast and this rate he may be releasable soon.

Other rescues this week have included a small emaciated hedgehog in Oaklands, Westham; a road casualty squirrel at Ringmer; a window strike dove this time from Street End Lane, Broad Oak, Heathfield.

WRAS’s October Newsletter is now available. You can request a copy by post or by emailing trevor@eastsussexwras.org.uk

We are also starting to see a lot of birds coming in with Trichomoniasis or more commonly know as Canker. Pigeons, doves and birds of prey have come in suffering from this fungal condition, but also green finches and sparrows suffering from wet canker which shows slightly differently. In advance stages this can be very difficult to treat but if caught early enough it is easily treated. One of the most common ways birds pick up Canker is via unhygienic bird tables or mouldy wet food on the ground. Please remember that bird tables and feeders should be cleaned at least once a week with veterinary disinfectants.

WRAS’s October Newsletter is now available if you would like a copy please e-mail trevor@eastsussexwras.org.uk and request a copy by e-mail or post.