TREVOR WEEKS MBE - WRAS centre sets up special day to show how foxes are rescued

Trevor weeks
Trevor weeks

East Sussex WRAS is holding a Fox Rescue Day tomorrow (May 18).

At 10am, noon, 2pm, 4pm, 6pm and 8pm WRAS will be running presentations showing how the charity helps sick, injured and orphaned foxes.

Trevor weeks

Trevor weeks

At the end of the presentation, visitors will get to see one of WRAS’s Fox Cubs.

Booking is required and entry is for a minimum donation of £5. Numbers are limited per session. The event is being held at WRAS’s Casualty Care Centre on the A22 at Whitesmith near Hailsham, Uckfield and Lewes. To book please call 01825-873003. Refreshments will be available too.

Last week’s busy Bank Holiday saw us start a very busy week. WRAS rescuers had to deal with a fox cub caught in chain link fencing in Langney, an injured wood pigeon in Hailsham, an orphaned squirrel in Hove, an underweight hedgehog in Lewes, an injured young pigeon in Eastbourne, a number of road casualty gull in Eastbourne and Langney as well as two in Seaford, plus we have released the gull which was caught in netting at Hastings Direct in Bexhill .

We have also had several calls from outside our area including Norfolk, Dover, Nottingham and North Wales. Kate, Kathy and Lindsay supported by our fantastic Orphan Bird Team have been busy too. Many of the birds are on 20, 30 or 45 minute feeds and the job of feeding them is a bit like painting the Forth Bridge, once you finish it’s time to start at the beginning again. They have done a great job with the young robins, blackbirds and now thrushes which have started coming in. It won’t be long before we start getting the finches and tits coming in. Three robins came in from Chiddingly one with nasty wound under its wing, another with an air pocket and puncture wounds, and a third which appeared clear of injury. Most young birds are coming in after being caught by cats or other predators at the moment.

Another date for your diary is another of our Unusual Quiz Nights being held at East Dean Village Hall on Saturday 8th June. Doors open at 7pm and the Quiz starts at 8pm. Tickets are £10 in advance and get you a meal of macaroni cheese, quiche and salad as well as pineapple and cheese on sticks as this quiz will have a 1980s theme! Our unusual quizzes are great fun and involve tasting, touching smelling, watching, memorising and more! To book just contact Kate on 01825-873003.

We have had some very poorly hedgehogs come in over the past couple of weeks. Several hedgehogs have come out of hibernation clearly struggling with their weight and health. One which Kathy and I rescued last week in Uckfield was very sick indeed. He was very cold and found under a wheelbarrow in the daytime, the only reason he managed to get in the garden was that he was so thin so he could squeeze under a tiny gap under a gate. When we collected him all his legs were rigid and tremoring and his backbone was prominent. He could not balance upright at all. Emergency fluids and medication were given and he started gently lapping some easily digestible food when place by his head. For the first few days he could only lie on his heat pad under a towel lapping the food placed next to him as well as being given subcutaneous fluids to support him. We didn’t think he would survive but he is now able to curl up tightly and has gained 150g. He has a long way to go, but an amazing transformation in this little guy who has been named “Cowslip” as this month’s theme is flowers.

“Poppy” the little hedgehog who came in with Pop Off Syndrome when only 180g in the Autumn last year has been returned to her home this week. She has been fairly problematic this winter and been fairly sensitive to changing temperatures but has now settled down and fully recovered. It was great to see her up and about eating well and now back home in the wild weighing a fantastic 800grams.

We have a large number of baby feral and Wood Pigeons in care at the moment. Most have come in after their nests have been predated and siblings lost. If you find a pigeon or dove down on the ground which still has yellow fluff over the top of its feathers then it will need to come into care as it is too young to leave the nest. Pigeons and doves only fledge once the fluff has gone, hence most people think they have never seen a baby pigeon. Please do not attempt to feed any baby bird.

Most will be too young to eat for themselves, so simply placing them in a secure box with a towel in the bottom, somewhere warm while you are waiting for help to arrive.

The young Wood Pigeon that was rescued from the netting in Lewes a few weeks ago is now doing very well. He was initially struggling to get his balance back and kept falling over, but luckily we have had two more pigeons in of the same age as him and this has given him confidence and reassurance and he is now able to perch well and eating for himself as well.

The lovely friendly little feral pigeon that came in from Newhaven last week has definitely settled in well, it was definitely love at first sight when he and a young male pigeon were introduced to each other and they immediately started preening each other.

WRAS is looking for volunteers to help with general cleaning around the centre for 3-4 hours once or twice a week. If interested please contact Trevor on 01825-873003.