TREVOR WEEKS MBE - Young rescued gulls released back to the wild

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WRAS has rescued over 150 young gulls this year.

Those tiny little fluffy bundles are now fully fledged juveniles. Rescuer Tony was lucky enough to help our colleagues at Bird Aid release 25 of our baby gulls at the end of last week with another 25 also going the day before. Many thanks to Julia and Ian for hand-rearing them for us in their fabulous facilities and to everyone who has been part of their story, from finders, rescuers and our feed and clean volunteers, this is what it is all for. Still another 75 or so still to be release in due course. The final stage of the gull season is underway – the road casualty season – as the fledgling start flying they don’t have the control and end up crashing into vehicles, buildings and more. We have been out to numerous gulls hit by vehicles this week again. We have a number of them in care but sadly numerous gulls have either died out on site or shortly after being admitted due to their injuries.

We have a great event coming up which we are calling our ‘Indoor Nature Trail’. It is being held at East Dean Village Hall on October 11, from 11am to 5pm.

Tickets are just £10 for adults and £5 for children, you will have access to local wildlife charities and conservation groups like Sussex Badger Vaccination Project, Sussex Mammal Group and British Divers Marine Life Rescue.

There will be wildlife artists and photographers showing off their art work as well as selling some too. There will be guest speakers throughout the day in the discussion room including talks from myself on wildlife rescue, and talks on Dormouse work by the Sussex Mammal Group, and East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service’s large animal rescue work to name just a few. There will also be a few wildlife activities for children too. There will also be food served between 11am and 2pm included in the price as well as refreshments. You don’t have to stay all day, just come along and get involved as much as you like for as long as you like. To book tickets contact Lindsay on 01825 873003 or email lindsay@eastsussexwras.org.uk. The lineup is subject to changes without notice and all lectures are seated on a first come, first served basis.

It’s been an upsetting week with some sad outcomes. Rescuer Chris had to catch a poorly rabbit at Eastbourne hospital. The rabbit has been struggling all day and on assessment it became clear it was completely blind and suffering from myxomatosis. WRAS’s Assistant Manager Kirsti rushed the rabbit into the vets for further assessment where it sadly had to be put to sleep.

Chris ad Kirsti also rushed out to road casualty fox in Battle. Passing motorists had stopped and watched the fox drag himself into a nearby field. They kept an eye on the fox till rescuers arrived. Rescuers approached the fox and it was clear there was a spinal injury. He was carefully lifted into a carrier and raced to our new vet Mike. On assessment it was clear that the spine was fractured and sadly the injuries were too severe and he was put to sleep. Thank you for the kind people who stopped and called us and saved him a night of suffering.

I was called out late at night last week to a road casualty fox hit by a car at Five Ashes. The fox was underneath the car. When I arrived I was amazed to find it caught behind the front passenger wheel and still alive. It had been dragged along the road whilst the car braked. We had to jack the car up in order for me to get underneath to free the fox, but sadly the fox died during the rescue due to its trauma. It was a very frustrating and difficult rescue, one of those which really makes you feel sick afterwards and wish we had better funding, resources and equipment available.

However, the Arlington Road fox which came in three weeks ago suffering from minor sarcoptic mange and emaciated is doing very well. His treatment has finished now, and we are just slowing helping him put on weight. He is out of the main hospital now and in one of our indoor enclosures. Fingers crossed only a couple more weeks and he will be releasable.

We would like to thank Mrs L Robinson for her very kind and generous donations of loads of wildlife food for our casualties which arrived in the post. She ordered the food after looking on our Amazon Wish List. If you would like to buy a present for our casualties please visit our Wish List at http://www.amazon.co.uk/registry/wishlist/35VQCQWZZ8PM1

We have had some nice releases this week. A gull and dove were returned to Eastbourne along with a crashed swan, a mouse in Hailsham, a juvenile wood pigeon in Newick and also one of the hedgehogs who came in recently found in a pond in Lewes has gone for release. Our baby rabbits are in their outdoor pen as is another hedgehog and 2 hand reared doves and a hand reared wood pigeon which are ready for release. Eight of our handreared blackbirds have also gone into their soft release aviary. Three hand reared goldfinches were also released from our pen at East Dean. A group of Starlings were also released last week, two disappeared the first day, the other two were very reluctant to leave the aviary but have finally ventured out and flew off. A few other small birds like Roy the great tit have also been released.