TREVOR WEEKS: A happy ending for fox cubs

Cubs hidden in Eastbourne garden SUS-170426-111141001
Cubs hidden in Eastbourne garden SUS-170426-111141001

Our orphan room is starting to fill up now, but we are still in need of volunteers to help feed and look after the hundreds of sick, injured and orphan baby birds that WRAS sees each year.

We have blackbirds, robins and dunnocks in care at the moment but it won’t be long before they are joined by sparrows, jays, magpies, tawny owls, blue tits, house martins and everything in-between. Full training would be provided so if you have a love for animals, want to help and think you could manage feeds sometimes as often as every 15 minutes, stretching and bending to cages and can commit to a shift, then please contact Katie via email katie@eastsussexwras.org.uk

The shifts are currently looking to fill are Monday 10am-2pm, Tuesday 6pm-10pm, Wednesday 7am-10am, Thursday 10am-2pm, Saturday 7am-10am, 2pm-6pm and 6pm-10pm, Sunday 7am-10am and 6pm-10pm.

Duty rescue co-ordinator Chris Riddington was called to look at some fox cubs wandering around a garden in Eastbourne. On arrival, the cubs had hidden in some garden furniture. Trying to make sure the cubs were okay, Chris carefully examined the hole they had hidden and was met by a lovely view of several heads staring back to him - at least four healthy cubs. They are at the age where they will start to explore and play outside. Chris and the finder cordoned off a section to keep them safe from the caller’s dog so they can play and explore safely. We are getting quite a few calls from people wanting to know how to get rid of foxes and cubs from their gardens. The only humane and safe way of doing so is to use deterrence. There are several companies recommended on our website at www.wildlifeambulance.org/advice/foxes.

Monday was a busy day seeing Katie and I working over 15 hours each. Rescuer Carol and I attended call to a hedgehog found in the bottom of the swimming pool at Glynde Recreation Ground. Luckily, the pool was empty at the time and the poor little creature was huddled in the corner. He was taken into WRAS’s care for the day and give a good check over, and after dark, the hedgehog was returned and released back in the recreation ground.

Sunday evening Kathy and I were called out to a fox in a garden in Framfield Road, Uckfield. The fox was caught after reports that it had a serious limp. However, on capture, the fox was found to have no serious injuries at all other than a graze by the groin. The wound was treated on site and the fox has been released again. It ran off into the garden using all four legs and only a minor limp. This past week has not been a good one for cruelty issues. We rescued a crow on Monday which had to be put to sleep after having been shot. The wing and shoulder were not repairable. The bird was found in Gournay Road, off Hempstead Lane, Hailsham. The bird would not have been able to fly very far meaning it is likely to have been shot either from one of the properties close by or in the surrounding land. The bird was left injured and suffering which is an offence under the Wildlife and Countryside Act. The incident has been reported to Sussex Police and if anyone has any information please contact Sussex Police on 101 and quote ref 1099 of April 24, 2017. At the weekend we dealt with three gulls run over as a result of young people throwing bread into the road to encourage them down to feed. This is also an offence and the incident on Prince William Parade was also reported to the police. We have also had multiple call-outs to birds trapped in netting on buildings and it is getting very frustrating that so many building owners seem to have a complete lack of regard for animal welfare and do not seek to repair or maintain bird netting. We are not against netting as it is very useful in some situations, but in many places, it is not suitable at all, especially if it is not going to be maintained. The RSPCA is asking for locations where netting is regularly catching birds to be reported to the via e-mail to wildlife@rspca.org.uk giving the address and dates of incidents which have occurred. We managed to get a few of our over-wintered hedgehogs out before the night time temperatures dropped. We decided to get the more mature hedgehogs out but hold back on the ones which came in much younger and as soon as the temperatures warm up again at night we will start releasing them again. Unlike some rescue centres, we try to get the majority of our hedgehogs back to the same locations as where they were found as we believe it is important to keep local populations alive and well. It’s only the very young ones where they need to be soft released do we choose a new location, but always where there are other hedgehogs to ensure they are in a safe and suitable area.