TREVOR WEEKS MBE - Rudolph the fox rescued after burns gave it a bloody nose

Rudolph the fox with his damaged nose
Rudolph the fox with his damaged nose

We have certainly had some unusual rescues to deal with over the past few weeks, especially with foxes.

This week saw another unusual rescue of a fox. Meet Rudolph the fox who came into care after being rescued from inside a storage room at IBStock brickyard in Bexhill. Concerned staff called WRAS after finding him hiding away. I attended on site with rescuer Sean and accompanied by students Teagen and Tom. The fox was inside a chemical storage room. Using a dog grasper and a catch net, we surrounded the fox which was hiding behind a load of drums and containers. As soon as the fox was caught, we lifted it out into the open and could see blood pouring from the fox’s nose!

It was obvious first aid was needed straight away so a special powder was applied to help stop the bleeding. We were unsure what the cause was, but initial thoughts were either chemical or heat burns.

The fox was transported back to WRAS’s Casualty Centre for further assessment and treatment. The bleeding had stopped by the time we arrived at the centre. On checking the fox over we found the pads were also red and the fur singed around the fox’s muzzle.

WRAS’s vet Chris Hall, from Henley House Vets in Uckfield, confirmed they were heat burns and approved WRAS’s treatment. The fox, now named Rudolph, is in care and slowly recovering. Her pads will recover and her fur will grow back, but the main skin on her nose will always stay pinkish and take a while to recover. Thank you to the staff at IBStock for being so caring and compassionate about the fox.

This week has also seen numerous road casualties, mainly foxes and gulls, but also a swan and badger too. We sent out an ambulance to a badly injured badger at Seaford found by Seaford’s Mayor Anthony White. The badger had to be rushed to the vets where sadly the vet decided it would be kinder to end the badger’s suffering.

On the subject of badgers a new group is starting up called Sussex Badger Vaccination Project. It is a joint project being backed by WRAS, the Southdowns Badger Protection Group and International Animal Rescue. It is still early days but the group aims to look at starting a vaccination project across East Sussex giving farmers an alternative to culling. More information will follow in months to come – watch this space.

A few weeks ago, we rescued a female duck at Piltdown Pond. The duck was very unbalanced and kept falling over. She was not easy to catch and was admitted into WRAS’s care. On examination the duck had a wound above its left ear which we think may have been either a rat or mink bite. As a result the duck’s balance was affected. With antibiotics and TLC at WRAS’s Casualty Centre the duck has made a full recovery.

Last week rescuer Dave took the duck back to Piltdown for release. You can see a video of the release on WRAS’s You Tube Channel at

“Izzy” the hedgehog from the Laughing Fish Pub at Isfield, is making a great recovery, and on a daily basis WRAS carers have been washing her wounds and giving her antibiotics and she has started putting on weight now too. Our vet Simon checked her over at the weekend and was happy with her recovery. Fingers crossed it won’t be long before she can be returned home. “Wood Violet”, the little hog who had half her nose sliced off by a strimmer at the end of May, was finally released last week. She has trebled her weight and was very pleased to go home again.