TREVOR WEEKS - Failed bid to save a mole as fox cubs progressing well

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We had a really sad incident this week when this little mole was delivered to WRAS’s Casualty Centre, the mole had been seen roaming round a garden during the day time fairly franticly.

The finder placed him on their compost heap, hoping he would dig into the loose soil but he didn’t and just continued running round. By the end of the day they rang WRAS for advice and delivered the mole across to the Casualty Centre.

On examination he was very hyper, there was a bald patch at the base of his tail and when we turned him over there was a prolapse. After seeking some veterinary advice his injuries were treated and pain relief plus antibiotics then bedded down and made comfortable. Sadly he passed away a couple of hours later, but at least he was comfortable. We always seek advice from other more experienced rescue centres when taking in an unusual casualty is admitted, and they all said the same, that moles do not do well in captivity and those who survive are normally those who are able to be released quickly. Although many people see them as pests due to digging up gardens, they are a wild animal which we rarely see. Their feet are amazing in size compared to their body and fur is extremely soft.

A new fledgling dove came in last week. He was found grounded in a garden. He is huge for his age, compared to our others so he has been named ‘Heffalump’. He has some calcium deficiency, legs aren’t that strong and tail partly in pin but I am not surprised he couldn’t get off the ground as he is so big. Being young he was taken to carer Kathy in Uckfield for the night to be given fluids and warmth into the night. He is now doing very well and is down at the Casualty Centre learning to eat for himself.

Our first three fox cubs of 2013 are doing well. As Monica is off work with a broken ankle, she was really pleased to have them to look after and to take her mind of being stuck at home.

The three cubs which have been named Rafael, Raul and Rosa came in from Seaford. They need a lot of love and attention at this age, they need to be bottle fed, cleaned and toileted regularly too. As they get older our contact with them will become less and less. Eventually, we will cut human contact completely so they don’t realise humans are feeding them. They will eventually be soft-released back to the wild from a pen where there will be supplementary fed even after release for a while. Unlike one rumour which is circulating we don’t and never have released them with flea collars on! This is a very careful process and as yet we have not domesticated a single fox cub which is important so that when released they stay wild and are frightened of humans.

We wouldn’t and have never dumped foxes into the wild, and certainly don’t remove foxes from gardens and relocate them as this would be illegal under the abandonment of animals act, but sadly there are a number of companies and individuals out there who do.

Two WRAS rescuers Chris and Tony rushed out to a very poorly fox at Columbus Drive, Langney. They managed to catch him and he was suffering from severe mange but sadly also several dog bites. The fox had to be rushed to the vets where sadly its condition was too severe to treat.

We managed to release a number of our pigeons last week returning them back to where they were found in Polegate, Willingdon, Eastbourne and Seaford. There were nine in total and so great to see them back where they belong. There is a video on our You Tube site showing some of the releases.

Six more hedgehogs have gone outside this week already. Some of our more troublesome ones have taken a while to get fit and healthy or haven’t liked being in groups. Boys “Mash” and “Weed” are now with carer Kathy in an outside run and female hedgehogs “Lala” is in the Kathy’s shed in a hutch. WRAS volunteer Amy has taken males “Victoria Plum”, “Seadra” and “Miranda”. “Pine Nut” and “Emu” have moved into the cold pens to acclimatise before going outside keeping a hedgehog named after me “Trevor” company in pen 2. Our volunteers certainly have fun naming the casualties!