Wildlife rescuers' Friday night fox rescue in Brighton

Instead of partying into the early hours Wildlife Rescuers were helping a trapped fox in basement!
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Volunteer on-call rescuers had a late night on Friday 7th into Saturday 8th July in Brighton - but not for a night partying but to rescue various casualties.

Trevor Weeks MBE Founder of East Sussex Wildlife Rescue & Ambulance Service (WRAS) accompanied by Rescue Co-ordinator Kristy Sayer were called out about 11:30pm after a fox fell into a basement area between buildings in Grand Avenue, Hove. They left Eastbourne where they had just been to collect a hedgehog from Vets Now. The rescuers arrived at the location in Brighton about 12:20am and in the dark were shown through the old house and down into the basement area where the fox was hiding.

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The gap was narrow and just wide enough for a fox cage to fit. Trevor approached the fox with a dog grasper and blanket. “The poor creature obviously had no idea I was trying to rescue it. It tried jumping up the wall, but it had no way to escape. I was able to get the grasper round the fox but as it was so wriggly it slipped down to the fox’s pelvis. I was able to gently manoeuvre the fox into the cage and secure him and remove the grasper,” said Trevor.

Trevor WeeksTrevor Weeks
Trevor Weeks

It took Trevor and Kristy to carry the fox and cage back up through the house to the street above.

“It was now not far off 1am by the time they were able to release the fox to run off along the gardens to safety. This is the best part of doing rescues. Its amazing to part of getting them back to running wild and free,” said Kristy.

Trevor and Kristy then received a phone call about a road casualty gull in Clifton Hill Brighton, so as they were not far away, they were quickly on site and found the bird quickly as the callers waited for the ambulance to arrive. Unfortunately, this bird was not as lucky as the fox and had to be rushed to Pets Emergency Treatment Service in Brighton for euthanasia due to the severity of its injuries.

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A call was also received about a fox dragging itself across the A259 near Friston so the rescuers headed out to check for this fox, which was unfortunately no where to be seen by the time they arrived.

Rescuers Kristy and Trevor finally returned home at 2am.

"We don't have a dedicated night time team so staff and volunteers like ourselves work all day as well as being on call at night time. Out of hours rescues are all done voluntarily. Sadly we just don't have the resources to deal with all incident out of hours and have to only deal with casualties which we could not expect members of the public to safely handle like badgers, foxes and swans etc. Nights like this are very satisfying but they are also extremely tiring," explained Trevor.

Earlier that evening other WRAS rescuers had also deal with a poorly barn owl in Piltdown, a road casualty gull in Seaford and a kestrel in Hailsham.

East Sussex WRAS is an award winning community charity and has around 300 wildlife casualties in care currently. The organisation which was founded in 1996 now takes in over 5000 casualties a year, of which over 50% are species with a worrying conservation status.

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East Sussex WRAS can be supported by making a donation via their website wildlifemabulance.org, by scanning the QR code on the video or by phoning 01825-873003.

Reg Charity 1108880. Registered with the Fundraising Regulator.

VIDEO (with logo): https://youtu.be/Z2r40pIIWVQ