Volunteers called to help fox with horrendous wounds

Trevor Weeks

Trevor Weeks

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Our rescue line has been running red hot to the point of melt down over the past week.

We have received up to 80 phone calls per day. On Wednesday night last week we received 30 phone calls between 6pm and 9am the following morning. Almost half the calls are from people with fledglings or gull chicks and from people outside our area struggling to find people to help. We would like to apologise to those people we have not been able to help during busy periods or where we have been full and no suitable cages left to take in certain casualties.

Trevor Weeks

Trevor Weeks

We have had yet more calls from people thinking we are a big charity with a call centre and loads of paid staff as well as people thinking we are part of the local council and even funded by their council tax. We are only funded by generous donations, standing orders and occasional small grants from various trusts. We rely heavily on donations and the public support without which we could not carry out our work. This is the busiest time of year for us, wor king long, long hours too often from first light till after midnight.

We received a number of calls from shoppers at the new Morrisions store at Hampden Park last week saying there was a young wagtail flying round inside a stairwell at the store. We phoned the store and eventually they returned our call and Dave accompanied me to the store for what we thought was going to be a long winded and difficult rescue. To our surprise the rescue was quite easy. The ladder was used to climb up to a ledge on which the bird was standing and I was able to easily catch the bird using a short handled net. While undertaking the rescue the parent wagtails were flying round outside the window looking in. The fledgling wagtail was taken outside and released for the parents to find and continue looking after.

WRAS was called to a badly injured fox at Martello Beach Caravan Park at Pevensey Bay last week. Rescuers Tony and Clare attended on site and called for back up after realising that the rescue was not going to be easy. Sean and I attended on site to help. The fox which was originally wandering round the caravan park, had gone under a caravan where it was prevented from escaping. The smell from the wounds on the fox’s face were horrendous. I had to crawl under the caravan and managed to corner the fox and catch it using a dog grasper. The fox was quickly loaded into a cage and I was able to crawl back out. The wound on the face was horrible and maggots were crawling all through the head and facial wounds. How this fox was still able to get around we really don’t know. The fox was quickly taken to Foreman and Hanna Vets at Stone Cross where it was put down and its suffering ended.

Rescuer Lisa responded to a gull on a roof in Peacehaven, and was helped by the Police and Fire Brigade in dealing with the poor gull, which is now at WRAS’s Casualty Care Centre being looked after. The adult gull was hanging by its wing from the guttering of a house and the fire service had to assist Lisa to gaining access safely to the bird and bringing it down to ground level. The police had been called out by residents as they thought the gull had been shot. There were two puncture marks on the bird’s neck which appear to be as a result of a bullet. These injuries have healed well and we hope to be able to test fly the bird soon.

A number of our young birds have started moving outside into aviaries and we have some new aviaries being erected at the moment after being funded by the Keith Baker Charitable Trust. We would also like to thank the Shuman Animal Welfare Trust for their very kind donation too.