Horrendous road casualties continue to pour in to centre

Trevor Weeks pics SE 08-03-13
Trevor Weeks pics SE 08-03-13

We have had another calcium deficient collared dove come into care this week, so carer Kathy is now looking after this little chap at home.

Rescuer Chris went out to this young dove which has minor cat attack wounds, but also many of the feathers are in pin. Last week’s dove is now at the Casualty Centre and doing very well and even eating seed on his own.

There have been a number of horrendous road casualties this week including one very poorly fox picked up at Peacehaven. The poor fox had facial and jaw injuries possible as a road casualty but difficult to know for sure. Vets advised ending it suffering. Rescuers Jen and Chris rushed out to an emergency call to a road casualty badger in Watermill Lane, Sidley, Bexhill. It was late at night and the reports from those on scene were not sounding good. They swiftly had the badger secured and on its way to the nearby emergency veterinary clinic. At first vets thought the badger might be saveable but as they were about to leave the badger started fitting and rapidly went downhill. Sadly we lost this badger at the vets too. It’s horrible that we are getting called to so many badly injured casualties at the moment, but at least we have prevented these animals from dying a slow, cold and painful death.

We have had yet more swans this week. Tony was called out to Princes Park lake in Eastbourne after reports of a swan dragging both wings in the water and blood on the wings. Dave backed up Tony and arrived just in time to see Tony catch the swan.

Back at the rescue centre I checked the swan over which showed signs of having crash landed but also possibly of being hit by a vehicle. The swan had damage to several toes, and deep grazes on the leading edge of its wings which were bleeding and down to the bone. While examining the swan a heavy capillary bleed started which resulted in a trauma gauze and bandage being applied.

Another swan came in after crash landing at Hampden Park lake too. Tony wasn’t very impressed as he ended up getting rather muddy as a result. Apparently someone called a rescue organisation in Yorkshire who said they were going to get someone to attend, but after a few hours they decided to call us! We were on site within 20 minutes and the swan was swiftly caught by Tony. He was in good condition and healthy but rather stunned. He was kept in for 24 hours under observation with plenty to eat and drink and was certainly ready to be released the following day.

Every year, we receive between 2-3,000 calls for help, and it is physically and financially impossible for us to respond to every single call as we just aren’t big enough, but we try our best. Our average response time from speaking to the caller to attending on site is currently 40 minutes.

When we have multiple calls to deal with at the same time we have to triage and decide which calls are more urgent than others. Depending on where we are and where the casualty is, some response times are as low as 10 minutes, other less urgent can take over 2 hours to attend to.

WRAS is only a small charity but we achieve big things, because we are primarily a voluntary organisation with about 60 volunteers and just two part-time staff who work exceptionally hard. Sadly we are limited by funding which is primarily from donations and standing orders.

We would like to express our thanks to customers and staff at St Annes Veterinary Group in Eastbourne for raising £100 for East Sussex WRAS. This money will go towards constructing some new Hedgehog Bedding Chambers for our overwintering hedgehogs. This has been a great support and very much appreciated, as is all the work and support that the staff at St Annes have shown us over the years.

Our latest newsletter is now available to download from our website www.wildlifeambulance.org full of news and information.

We have one of our infamous Unusual Quiz Nights coming up this month at East Dean Village Hall on Saturday, March 23. Doors open at 7pm and the quiz starts at 8pm. To book or make a donation call 01825873003 during office hours.