TREVOR WEEKS MBE - tough on team in week of horrendous injuries

This young female hedgehog was found in a garden in Buxted
This young female hedgehog was found in a garden in Buxted

This little female hedgehog has come into WRAS’s Casualty Care Centre today after being found in a garden in Buxted at 3pm in the afternoon. She seems is fairly good condition but has a slight neck line. She weighs 217grams. We have recently had two other adult hedgehogs from the same garden out during the day, but luckily neither of them appears to have been a mum. We have also had a number of hedgehogs with dog bite injuries, some fairly nasty with prolapses due to the pressure applied by the force of the dogs jaws. Most dog attacked hedgehogs are normally fine and the blood on them quite often turns out to be from the dog’s prickled mouth and no serious injuries. I have felt sorry for our rescuers this week who have had some horrible injuries to deal with. With the horrendous dog bite wounds on the hedgehogs, to gulls with mangled wings after being hit by cars, it’s been a hard week. Some of the road casualty gulls have included rescues at The Goffs, Eastbourne; the Sussex Police Custody Suite in Hammonds Drive, Eastbourne; Langney Road, Eastbourne; outside the Kings Church in Eastbourne and in Station Road Seaford.

Kathy is currently looking after three little woodies at her home, it seems like every time one gets old enough to be admitted to the Casualty Centre another youngster need her attention. Kathy has a little hatchling which is now about 12-14 days old, his wounds are healing and you wouldn’t know there was a problem with him to see him now. The second hatchling youngster is on his own at the moment as he has a nasty open wound on his thigh, but once it starts to heal they should be able to go in together. The older baby woody from Uckfield was caught by a cat. Kathy attended and found him cold, quite weak, eyes closed and in clear discomfort. He had a medium sized rupture to one side of his crop with seed spilling out, He also had puncture wounds to his back, wing and a wound on his thigh taking the skin off exposing the muscle. We rushed him to the vets not expecting a great outcome, but they have done a fantastic job on him and were willing to give him a chance. He is stitched, stapled and took his first feed of Lectade well without anything leaking out. Poor soul must have been gasping for a drink. He has had pain relief & antibiotics so fingers crossed for him & that he can soon play with the other babies. Big thank you to Chris Hall at Henley House Vets for being prepared to give this little guy a chance. Other pigeon calls this week have included a youngster wandering on the ground unable to fly in Terminus Road, Eastbourne; one in Farm Close, Seaford and one outside Pets Corner in Uckfield.

Five blackbirds, a robin and lovely Mistle Thrush have been released from our Uckfield aviary this week. The blackbirds have been back visiting for the past week, several of them kept coming back at night time and disappearing during the day. Even some of the previously released blackbirds have been back too! Not sure those just released knew what to make of the 4 wild sparrows that flew in and perched next to him! Talking of garden birds, we’ve also had a young bullfinch come into care this week from Newick. Found in the middle of a field. He is very vocal and such a character. He is now at the Casualty Centre being hand reared.

One of our main ambulances is off the road for repairs at the moment, causing us a few problems, and a second ambulance is limited on its use due to pending repair work too. Sadly our ambulances are getting old and we need to look at replacing one of them, but can’t afford to at the moment. We will continue to attend on site to as many rescues as possible though. After the past few weeks of exciting rescues this week has been busy but calmer thankfully with more routine calls.

Rescue work is not all about the cute, cuddly and special species. Several times this week people have left messages our answerphone saying “I don’t know if you class a pigeon as an emergency” or sparrow or crow to name a few but we base our response on the casualties condition, location and our ability to respond and deal with it, not on the species.

Other calls this week have included a hedgehog out during the day in Bowood Ave, Eastbourne; a dog attacked hedgehog in Horam, and a road casualty fox next to the Cophall roundabout at Polegate.

We have had a phone call from a lady saying that someone in the Seaside, Lottbridge Drove, Staples store area of Eastbourne is regularly shooting gulls and other birds. Please could we ask people to keep an eye out and report any incidents to Sussex Police. WRAS doesn’t have any powers to investigate or take action this can only be done by the Police. If you witness someone shooting out of a window at birds especially in a residential area please dial 999 straight away as an offence is highly likely to be being committed at the time and will need acting on straight away. If you have any information about this or any other wildlife crime please contact Sussex Police by dialing 101.

A date for your diary, is our Unusual Quiz Night being held at East Dean Village Hall on Saturday 26th October 2013. Doors open at 7pm and the Quiz starts at 8pm. Tickets are £10 in advance or £12.50 on the door. There will be a military theme to the quiz, and I will leave it to your imagination as to the fancy dress I’ll be wearing to the event! Tickets include a military style meal of hot dogs, corn on the cob, wedges or chips and free entry to the quiz too. To book tickets contact Kate on 01825873003.