TREVOR WEEKS MBE - Blood covered swan now fit, well and released to the wild

The fox with a shaved patch on his side.
The fox with a shaved patch on his side.

Last week’s swan which was found covered in blood has been returned to Sussex and released.

An ambulance collected the swan plus one from Shinewater which was attacked by a dog back in October last year.

Pigeons in care at the rescue centre.

Pigeons in care at the rescue centre.

Both swans have now been returned to Sussex for release. It’s nice to see the Swan Sanctuary at Shepperton has done such a great job with her and that she can go back to be with her partner.

With severe weather warnings over the past couple of weeks we will have to monitor closely what the weather is doing. When there is a chance of the weather turning and causing problems with access either myself or a member of our Care Team will stay overnight to ensure that the casualties are fed, watered, treated and medicated properly.

Last week, I ended up staying over on two night as a precaution, sleeping on the sofa, but luckily the weather was fine, apart from a small tree which came down blocking the car park. With bow saw in hand, it was soon cut up and many of the branches are now inside our indoor pens providing cover and perches for some of the birds in care.

We have a fox in at the moment taken in by New Priory Vets in Brighton. It was delivered to them by taxi, and a couple of people who had been out partying, in the middle of the night. The fox was in a collapsed state. The fox is now far from collapsed but had a huge shaved area on the side of his body. We are giving him some time to regrow a small amount of fur prior to releasing him back in Brighton.

A fully recovered swan is released to the wild.

A fully recovered swan is released to the wild.

An important part of successfully rearing and treating wildlife so that it can be returned to the wild safely is to treat, rear, rehabilitate them separately from domestic animals. Rearing wildlife alongside cats, dogs and other domestic animals can lead to these wild animals becoming domesticated or not frightened of domestic animals once released. After working so hard on rescuing, rehabilitating and releasing a wildlife casualty the last thing you want is that animal being attacked and potentially killed or seriously injured by a dog, cat or other domestic animal which it thinks it can curl up with. If you are serious about helping a wildlife casualty, please don’t treat it like a pet or keep it with domestic pets. We see so many rescue organisation do this as well as taking wildlife to events and displays, which is irresponsible.

A huge thank you to those who have donated to WRAS through collection tins. These pennies do add up and make a huge difference to the animals we care for! Thank you to ESK in Eastbourne for raising £48.20, The Fishermans Club, Eastbourne, for raising £19.68, Philmac Hailsham for raising £60 and Gamma Gold Eastbourne for raising £35.84.

A bit of advance warning our next Unusual Quiz Night with a history theme will be taking place at East Dean Village Hall on Saturday February 28 at 7pm. Tickets are £10 per person and include entry to the quiz and a meal of Veggie chilli, rice and garlic bread. To book please contact Lindsay on 01825-873003.

We are aware of a pair of buzzards frequently being seen on the grass verge of Cross Levels Way in Eastbourne. We have been out numerous times after calls over the past few weeks. On a couple of occasions we have received calls about a bird of prey being seen on the verge injured or on the fence injured and staying in the same position. When we have approached the bird has been seen but flown off, but on other occasions the bird has not been seen. If you see the bird and believe it to be injured and not just eating prey then please call our rescue line 07815078234 but please wait for our ambulance or it may struggle to find where the bird is supposed to be.

During the winter months birds of prey, herons and other birds which prey on small rodents will spend more time hunting along grass verges. This is because tarmac absorbs heat and this radiates out onto the grass verge which is then warmer than the cold fields.

The grass verge is then attractive to many insects and beetles as well as those which prey on them, so small rodents know they are going to find food and the birds know the rodents will be there too. So during the winter months it is not unusual to see birds of prey or Herons etc on the ground with a rodent or small animals eating it on a grass verge.

When they find a good spot they will return to it regularly. So only need to call if you think the bird is injured.

Karen South is very kindly running the Eastbourne half marathon in aid of WRAS. Please browse her JustGiving page and show her some support and help raise some much needed funds for WRAS!