We had a phone call last week after a gentlemen handed in some very small baby hedgehogs to a vets practice.
From what we understand, his dog was pestering a hedgehog in his garden, and wasn’t sure what to and after seeking advice from a vets practice he decided to move the hedgehog up onto the Downs at Butts Brow above Eastbourne where he released it.
On his return and after letting his dog out he then discovered she had given birth to and now been separated from four baby hedgehogs. Unable to now find mum, he picked them up and delivered them to the vets. We were then called and WRAS carer Monica now has them in care and they are being hand reared.
Under the Abandonment of Animals Act it is made clear that reasonable care must be taken to ensure the future wellbeing of any animal being released.
It is therefore deemed unacceptable for animals to be relocated and dumped into areas outside of their home range without being soft released into that area. In the same way that it is illegal for pest control officers in towns and cities to catch foxes and take them out to the countryside and release them.
When we find ourselves in a situation where we are releasing a wildlife casualty back to the wild away from its original location outside of its home range then we have no choice but to rehabilitate them to the new area using soft release pens where they are slowly introduced to the new area.
To rear these orphans will cost over £350 in care, food, caging and rehabilitation which could have been avoided.
We had a lovely grass snake come into the centre after being entangled in garden netting at Amberstone near Hailsham. The snake was luckily not tightly entangled so the snake was transported to WRAS’s Casualty Centre and the remainder of the netting cut free before being sprayed and taken but out for release.
Ligature wounds can be fatal but luckily the netting was tightly attached to the body so this wasn’t a worry.
We are currently looking for volunteers to join our great weekend teams – either 9am till around 1pm Saturday, 5pm till around 7.30pm Saturday, 9am till around 1pm Sunday or 5pm till around 7.30pm Sunday. If you are interested please contact Kathy at firstname.lastname@example.org