TREVOR WEEKS MBE - Rook rescued after being caught in a tree in Lewes

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Our thanks to East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service who came out to assist us with a Rook rescue in Southover Road, Lewes last week.

We were called out by people in St Andrews Place who could see the bird caught up in the boughs of a tree on the opposite site of the road.

Rescues Chris and Keith rushed to the scene but quickly discovered our ladders were not suitable nor long enough. It would have been dangerous and probably impossible for anyone to get to the bird safely without their assistance. The bird was too far away from the trunk even for a tree surgeon to climb and reach.

Staff from Lewes Fire Station attended on site and agreed that the only way we were going to prevent the bird from dying in the tree was to call out the Fire Service’s aerial platform from Brighton. The service thought this was an ideal training opportunity without any human lives being at risk, and attended on site. The road was closed for a short period of time whilst the rescue took place and rescuers Chris and Keith were able to assess the bird once on the ground. The rook was hypothermic, very wet and had been hanging upside down in the tree. We thought there would be some form of netting, line, wire or string caught on the bird and then on the tree, but there was nothing. It’s rather unusual and we can only think the bird must had been fallen whilst fighting with another bird and become stuck.

The rook was rushed to WRAS’s Casualty Centre where they were assessed the Rook, slowly warmed it up, and gave fluids and medication to deal with shock. The rook has now recovered well and was released mid week back in Lewes fit and well.

We had another call to a Tawny Owl this week. This time our ambulance met some people in Uckfield but sadly the owl was in a bad way with multiple fractures so it was rushed to the emergency out of hours vets for urgent assessment. Sadly the injuries were not treatable and the owl had to be put to sleep.

Don’t forget to book for our next Unusual Quiz Night with a Horrible History Theme! It’s taking place this Saturday 28th February at East Dean Village Hall just outside of Eastbourne. Tickets are £10 per person and include entry to the Quiz and a meal of Veggie Chilli, Rice and garlic bread. Just call the centre on 01825-873003 to book tickets.

We have had a couple of calls to Sparrowhawks trapped inside buildings. The first was in Uckfield Garage at the top of the town. Rescuers Chris and Daryl attended on site and managed to catch the bird. It was taken to our Casualty Centre for assessment and returned the following day after being checked over. The second call was to a church in Eastbourne. The sparrowhawk had chased a pigeon inside the church. The sparrowhawk managed to escape before we arrived but the pigeon was still inside too. Rescuer Tony managed to catch the pigeon which is now at our centre.

Thank you to the Framfield & Blackboys Wives who have donated £200 to WRAS at the end of my talk to them. Also thank you to the Association of Sussex Folk who also donated over £100 after a talk too. If you would like to find out more about our talks to community groups or schools, see our website www.wildlifeambulance.org and look under “Educational Resources”.

We’ve also had a lovely Brown Long Eared Bat which has been rescued at Piltdown. The bat was found after being caught by a cat. The finder placed the bat on a bird table, and only called us out three days later unfortunately. The bat was very cold and also injured. We rushed the bat at Jenny Clark MBE at the Sussex Bat Hospital for care and for her to work her magic.