TREVOR WEEKS MBE - Some casualties lost and some saved in roller-coaster week

Four baby hedgehogs found near Charleston Farmhouse at Firle

Four baby hedgehogs found near Charleston Farmhouse at Firle

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This week has been one of tears of joy and sadness.

The work of rescuers and rehabilitators is a roller coaster of emotions.

A leucistic Starling caught by a cat in Uckfield.

A leucistic Starling caught by a cat in Uckfield.

The majority of calls this week have been about catted birds. We had a lovely mistlethrush come in as one of the catted birds, despite treatment and hard work by our care team the poor thing didn’t survive which was very upsetting.

We have also had this leucistic starling come into care again caught by a cat in Uckfield. There are several leucistic birds around the northern end of Uckfield for some reason inlcuding partially white blackbirds too. This starling is doing well and responding to treatment.

We lost our little fox cub this week, the one rescued from the Cuckoo Trail at Polegate a couple of weeks ago. He was fighting an infection from what appears to be a rat bite which caused several small abscesses to develop. Despite being on antibiotics the infection didn’t clear up and the infection got the better of the poor cub. Occasionally we find infections which are resistant to specific antibiotics which is why the use of antibiotics need to be done so carefully, but sadly discovering the resistance can be too late for the poor animal.

Thank you to the Georgina and Paul who stopped after hitting a young fox on the A26 near Lewes late at night. They pulled over picked the fox up and kept him warm and then met with our rescuer Chris who took over the care. The fox was then rushed into the emergency vets in Bexhill and was given multiple x-rays as spinal injuries were suspected. There was nothing obvious on the scans and he was given pain relief by the vet and aloud to be taken back to the WRAS’s centre to be bedded down and get some rest. In the morning he had perked up a bit, but he is not out of the woods yet. Seeing the state of him after being hit we were surprised that he has survived.

These four baby hedgehogs have come in to WRAS this week after their nest was disturbed by a dog and mum abandoned them. A fifth one with injuries sadly died before we arrived. They were found near Charleston Farmhouse at Firle, and are now being hand reared by WRAS carer Nikki at Polegate.

Rescuers attended this beautiful badger at Poynings near Brighton. Rescuers Andrew, Charlotte and Chris arrived at the Forge garage and were taken to the poorly looking badger in one of the garage workshops. After a bit of fuss he was caught and taken into care. He had wandered in during the day and the owner noticed some territorial bite wound injuries and kept him indoors and called WRAS for help. He has been in the vets this week for a General Anaesthetic and had his wounds all cleaned up and is now recovering well at WRAS’s Casualty Centre.

Don’t forget our “WALK ON THE WILD SIDE!” sponsored walk taking place on Saturday 24th May. If you would like to join in and take part to help raise valuable funds during our busiest time of year then please get in touch. The walk will take place from the Bell Tout lighthouse to Holywell at Eastbourne. Call Lindsay on 01825 873003 or email lindsay@eastsussexwras.org.uk to book a space and receive your sponsorship forms and info, only £5 to enter and dogs welcome to join too.

Ambulances have also been busy this week dealing with numerous other calls including a hedgehog from Lewes found out wandering around Lewes Priory; a little group of nestlings from Herstmonceux; a little dove rescued at Seaford Railway Station after being found wandering between commuters on the station platform; an injured blackbird from Crowborough; a catted sparrow from The Holt Hailsham; a bird trapped in a chimney in Hailsham; a pigeon which hit a wall at Gardner Books Hampden Park; and a swan beaten up by other swans in a territorial dispute in Brighton Marina; a catted blackbird in Uckfield; a poorly hedgehog found at Pevensey Park Road, Westham; a road casualty gull in Seven Sisters Road, Eastbourne; a poorly pigeon in the tower at Eastbourne Town Hall; an injured dove from Roservier Road, Eastbourne; a road casualty fox at Compton Place Road, Eastbourne and many more.

Please remember that we are only a small organisation but we achieve a lot with limited resources. We are in our busy season of the year now. We can’t afford to bring casualties in unnecessary so if we advise that a casualty needs to be left alone, like a fledgling or a nest of baby animals then we do so because it is in the animals best interest. There are risks to bringing casualties into care as well as trying to leave them to see if mum returns when disturbed.