TREVOR WEEKS: We were almost in tears as injured owl flew off beautifully

Tawny Owl when first admitted SUS-160712-090459001
Tawny Owl when first admitted SUS-160712-090459001

This beautiful tawny owl came into WRAS back on October 20. He was possibly hit by a car near the Blackboys Inn. On arrival he was assessed by our care team and they found he had quite a nasty fracture to his wing.

He was rushed up to Henley House Veterinary Clinic in Uckfield, where vet Claire X-rayed the owl for us. Claire was quite concerned about the fracture and asked us to contact specialists for advice.

We contacted Caroline Gould at Vale Wildlife Rescue due to their experience with birds of prey and they were sent the X-rays. Between our vet and the advice from Vale we decided to give the owl a go.

Claire strapped the owl’s wing and he was brought back to WRAS for care. He was placed in our orphan room and was looked after by our care team and monitored closely. After 10 days his wing was unstrapped and he was taken back for a second X-ray.

Vet Chris Hall assessed the results and said it needed more time. After a few days our care team test flew the owl and started to see some improvement. We decided to move him into our largest indoor aviary to build some strength. He was very well looked after by Michelle who fed and cleaned him every day.

Last week we collected him from the aviary and brought him back to the hospital for assessment and we were amazed at how well he could fly. After all of the work we put in, to see him flying after the fracture he had we were almost in tears.

Casualty Managers Chris Riddington and Katie Nunn Nash drove him back to Blackboys where he was released back to the wild. He flew off perfectly! A big thank you to Vale, Henley House Vets, Michelle and the caller for finding him!

As you may well have read or seen on the news, our hospital is filling up with hedgehogs. Monday night rescuers Sally picked up a hedgehog just after 10pm found in the park at Hampden Park only weighing 300grams.

Kathy and I rushed over to Piltdown to check on a hedgehog which had been picked up by a dog. We checked the hedgehog over and only found one small minor puncture wound. After some initial first aid it was decided to return the hedgehog back to his feeding station for release.

Thank you for the amazing amount of gifts which gave been donated over the past few weeks. Many of these items have arrived anonymously but thank you to everyone who has sent items from our wish list.

If you would like to send our casualties a gift this Christmas please visit our website www.wildlifeambulance.org for more information.

Thank you to everyone who came along today to our Christmas Craft Fair at East Dean and for supporting WRAS! It has been our best fair ever as well as to everyone who visited us at Paws-n-Claws store for Uckfield’s Late Night Shopping. We will be at Eastbourne’s Christmas Fair at the Bandstand from Sunday for a week. We will have all WRAS merchandise and gifts available for sale and ideal for Christmas.

We have had other calls to other species and not just hedgehogs this week.

Tony rushed down to a gull on Eastbourne beach wrapped up in orange netting, which unfortunately he was not able to catch as it could fly.

We have had a buzzard delivered to the Centre after being found near Battle. The poor bird has haemorrhaging at the back of one of the bird’s eyes, but our vets are happy that the bird stands a good chance of survival.

We have also had a couple of collared doves admitted with bruising around their eyes. One was found in from Eastbourne totally collapsed, freezing cold and had severe canker, and also looked like he had probably had been bitten by ticks. He was unable to hold his head up. He was still a decent weight though and after emergency medication was given rescuers delivered him up to Kathy for her expert one on one care.

Birds in buildings have been a bit of an issue this week.

A window left open in a loft for over 18 months has led to a family of pigeons taking up residence.

After advice from Natural England and due to the location of the nest we were able to step in and remove the nest, single youngster and release the adults from the loft unharmed.

Kathy has adopted the young pigeon who will be released back to the wild once old enough.

We have also had to rescue a magpie after it managed to get between the floor boards in a house in Lewes. The bird was suitable for release so was taken straight outside once caught.