AN ANIMAL charity in Wealden is urging people to help wildlife by ensuring fresh food is available. This is because of the number of emaciated and ill casualties being admitted into care because of the weather.
East Sussex Wildlife Rescue and Ambulance Service (WRAS - based at Whitesmith) has had an influx of casualties over the past month.
Assistant manager Kate Cuddis said “We receive casualties struggling to find food daily. Some are ill because they are desperately hungry and have eaten rotting food. We are trying our best to save as many as we can but these emaciation cases are not easy to deal with. The more emaciated the casualty the harder it is for them to recover; they suffer from stomach cramps when they start eating again which puts them of wanting to eat so they have to be carefully monitored and given medication to help out, and fed little and often. Sadly by the time a bird or animal is catchable the damage can be too severe, but we treat all casualties on a case by case basis and try our best for each one.”
Casualties include pigeons, doves, blackbirds, starlings, woodpeckers, bats and hedgehogs. Changeable weather and a wet summer has had a negative impact on the insect and beetle population at the base of the food chain. It also causes seed and other food sources to become prone to fungus and parasites. “We have had pigeons suffering from infections of their crops including sour crop and canker. These conditions we normally see later in the year around Autumn not during the height of summer,” said WRAS carer Kathy Martyn, from Uckfield.
Other casualties include pipistrelle and long eared bats.
WRAS founder Trevor Weeks MBE asks people to make sure bird tables are hygienic and clean and that waste is cleaned away and discarded. Anyone who wants to help can visit: www.wildlifeambulance.org and click on Ark Wildlife where food can be bought and funds raised for the charity at the same time.