TREVOR WEEKS: Releasing recovered casualties

Tawny owl
Tawny owl

This time of year is a really nice time as we are starting to release more and more recovered casualties back to the wild. Our hospital is about 30 casualties down on this time last week as a result, but we still have about 130 casualties.

Our two hand-reared tawny owls have been moved to one of our outside aviaries at Lewes. They are absolutely loving the new outdoor pen, and being very inquisitive, flying well and searching for food. As they are youngsters they will be soft released and their food gradually reduced while they settle in to their new environment once released.

We have had a few new young hedgehogs in this week including one which was found in a pond in Chygnton Gardens, Seaford. We have also had two calls from Hurstpierpoint for a very poorly hedgehog with a prolapsed eye.

One person this week still tried to give milk to a young hedgehog. Cow’s milk is bad for hedgehogs and cause serious digestive problems. If you need to provide fluids to any wild animal or bird NEVER use milk, just use water. Hedgehogs can be provided with a small amount of cat food, and for youngsters mashed up cat food mixed with a little water will do in the short term. If a casualty is badly injured please do not feed it at all, in case it needs an anaesthetic.

We sent an ambulance to the Golden Galleon pub next to the Exceat River bridge on the A259 near Seaford. The fox was acting oddly and the callers described it as “if it was tame”. The fox was rescued by Tony and brought into our centre for assessment. It was clear the fox was actually disorientated and had an injury to its shoulder. An x-ray at the vets showed the fox to have been shot with shot gun pellets embedded in its shoulder which caused the damage. Sadly the damage was not repairable.

Other calls included a road casualty fox in Alfriston, a catted young pigeon in Eastbourne and numerous calls about gulls off roof tops, the majority of which are fledglings now and therefore should not come into care.Within a few days they will be off and away, they just need to build up the muscle strength in their wings. We also had a call to a starling caught on the aerial on the roof of the Red Lion Pub, Hooe, the starling was luckily OK and was releasable.

Tony rushed out after a report of a mum and ducklings wandering on the A271 near Boship Roundabout, but they were nowhere to be seen. Rescuer Sally attended the Blue Bell Railway Station at East Grinstead too, after a young wren was found inside the station. We have also had a catted sparrow near Hailsham and an injured dove and Greenwood pecker in East Hoathly.

We must say a big thank you to the Puffins at Denton Community Primary School who donated £457.47 to WRAS after fundraising. That’s an amazing amount of support. Our Education Co-ordinators Lindsay and Sue visited the school to tell some wildlife stories as well as make some wild bird lollypop feeders.

We are still experiencing problems with our phone lines and engineers are still trying to find the cause of our ongoing problems.

WRAS’s next Unusual Quiz Night is at East Dean Village Hall on Saturday August 16. The doors open at 7pm, food will be served at 7.30pm which this time is a veggie ploughman’s lunch (vegan option available on request). The quiz starts about 8pm.

Tickets are £10 per person, or £12.50 on the door. To book call 01825-873003 daytime. The theme for this quiz is “Back to School”. Unusual Quiz Nights are full of fun, with things to do, smell, taste, watch, memorising, listen to, and much more!