TREVOR WEEKS MBE - Spring means lots of babies start coming into our care

A fox cub found abandoned in Eastbourne.
A fox cub found abandoned in Eastbourne.

Easter is here and what a surprise but we have babies and youngsters starting to come into care. Our volunteers are getting all broody too.

Kathy has been looking after the six doves at home to monitor them round the clock. The doves, which have come from Lewes, Hailsham, Eastbourne, East Hoathly and Selmeston, have come in for a variety of reasons but all generally as a result of being calcium deficient, young and unable to fly making them vulnerable to predators.

One of the six young doves being cared for by Kathy.

One of the six young doves being cared for by Kathy.

It’s so nice to have them in again, I know Kathy has really missed them, and they really make you smile at this age. Once they realise Kathy is their mum they start to wing waggle and squeak for food.

When they get a bit older they will, like most teenagers, start to rebel and they will be grouped together to ensure they become wild.

On Friday night a fox cub was rescued at Kingsmere, Eastbourne, after being found abandoned, hypothermic and underweight in the middle of a lawn. I met rescuer Chris at our Casualty Centre where I assessed him and decided to take him home for the night where I then fed him every three hours through the night with a special puppy milk replacer and rehydration fluids.

If you do find any orphaned wildlife, please do not feed them milk, as this often causes digestive problems and can be fatal.

Our orphan team leader, Lindsay Redfern has also been looking after a young mouse with the help of our assistant manager Kirti Sibbald. The babies are very cute, but a lot of hard work, and cause you to lose a lot of sleep.

Although we love having our babies in care, it is important that people don’t touch baby wildlife unnecessarily. We would urge people who are concerned about any baby or young wildlife not to touch them unless in immediate danger – like in the middle of a road – and to call a rescue organisation for advice.

It’s not unusual for mothers to leave their young hidden behind bushes or in long grass, as well as to not sleep with her young, especially as they grow and take up more space.

Some birds, like young tawny owls, will climb up and down the trunks of their trees, so if found at the base of a tree should be left alone. WRAS is urging people to call for advice first before touching wildlife as they may not be orphaned.

We have three badgers in at the moment too! Tank the badger, from Wilderness Wood at Hadlow Down, is still with us, and his jaw has fused back together, but he needs some dental work before he can be released. We also have two new badgers. One from Alfriston Road, just outside Seaford, found by a dog walker in some bushes just off the road. The badger has broken a couple of teeth but otherwise is not in too bad a condition. We hope she will be a quick turn around. We also have a badger from Bexhill which is also thought to be a road casualty too. This one also has damage to his mouth which has required our vet to attend. So a big thank you to vet Mike for visiting so regularly this week.

We had a former rescuer and volunteer deliver a road casualty pheasant that was found stunned in the middle of the road near Crowborough. He has a few scrapes and a wound on his head, but hopefully will be okay. After 24 hours in care the pheasant was suitable for release and taken back out.

Rescuer Tony rescued a pair of jackdaws who were building their nest in a chimney and fell to the bottom getting stuck, in Pevensey Bay. They are a bit sooty, but after being kept in for the night they were released the following day.

We are about to go into our busiest ans most expensive time of year. If you are able to make a donation, take out a standing order for as little as £1 a month it would be very much appreciated. Visit our website or call 01825-873003.