TREVOR WEEKS: Cold spells save on hedgehog food as they’re hibernating

Injured toad SUS-180321-104616001
Injured toad SUS-180321-104616001

The cold spells over the past month have certainly saved us on food bills for the hedgehogs, as most of the ones we are over wintering have hibernated.

We have had a few come into care including one from Links Road, Seaford, found wandering out in the snow and one out during the day rescued by Hurst Hedgehog Haven, who quickly delivered him across to us for care.

Big thank you to Coffee and Company, a small group of volunteers who serve refreshments to the local community of Rushlake Green once a week, for raising money for WRAS and sending us a cheque for £200.

Thank you very much for your support.

WRAS casualty manager and trained BDMLR marine mammal medic Chris Riddington attended a call to a baby dolphin spotted in the harbour at Newhaven port.

However we knew that it was most likely going to be a porpoise.

The caller was quite concerned and the only way to know for sure was for someone to visit and have a look.

Despite being off duty Chris drove across to have a look.

It did not take him long to spot the cetacean, which sure enough was a porpoise and luckily not a baby.

Chris spent a bit of time watching its behaviour to check there was nothing wrong and after talking it over with me it was clear the porpoise was healthy and feeding.

As the tide went out so did the porpoise.

We have had a few late night calls including rushing out to a hedgehog in Church Lane, Laughton.

The finder was concerned as she found it in exactly the same spot where she had seen it the night before and was concerned it had not moved.

I drove down from Uckfield and had a look, and found a hedgehog which looked in good body condition and he had eaten some food which the finder had put down.

He was able to curl up tightly in a ball and there was no sign of injury.

However on closer inspection the hedgehog appeared to have ringworm, so has now been admitted and is being treated.

Whilst dealing with this call the rescue line received a message about a badger dragging its rear legs just south of Rushlake Green.

I drove across and found the area thanks to some good directions and spent over half an hour searching the area without any luck.

Other calls this week included a badly injured pheasant on the cycle path just south of Berwick Railway Station, which had to be rushed to the vets due to extensive injuries.

We have also responded to a poorly collared dove in Alder Gardens in Bexhill.

Rescuer Tony rushed to a swan at Princes Park, which had lost quite a lot of blood after crash landing and damaging two toes.

The swan was very poorly and had to be rushed up to specialist at the Swan Sanctuary on Sunday.

We have also had an injured toad in care too which needed a few sutures.

Rescuers rushed to a road casualty rabbit at Ringmer on Saturday with suspected head trauma.

Staff at Eastbourne DGH called last week after a duck was found lying on the ground next to one of the buildings and was thought to have flown into a window.

A very poorly pheasant was rushed to us from Cooden Sea Road in Bexhill after being hit by a car.

We didn’t think she was going to survive treatment as they don’t cope very well in care, but this one is really fighting.

We have also had numerous calls about pheasants in gardens in various towns around the country but especially Eastbourne and Seaford.

At one point last week we were getting multiple calls every day from people asking us if we would return them to the countryside.

If they are healthy then we advise they are left alone.

According to the Game and Conservation Trust over 35 million of these birds are released for shooting every year.

They also say that 16% survive the shooting season meaning around 5.6 million pheasants are added to the wild population every year.

As a result more and more are coming into towns and cities as our countryside gets more and more crowded.

Considering that there is an estimated 240,000 foxes and 740,000 wintering herring gulls, which many people say is too high and over populated, some organisations are now starting to question whether our ecosystem can cope with such large numbers being released.