TREVOR WEEKS: Fox was caught up in football net

Collared dove from Eastbourne SUS-161221-100915001

Collared dove from Eastbourne SUS-161221-100915001

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East Sussex Wildlife Rescue and Ambulance Service, were called to a fox caught in a football net on a school playing field in Eastbourne on Wednesday. Concerned staff at Willingdon Primary School spotted the distressed fox entangled in the net.

They moved children away and awaited rescuers Iain and Chris to arrive. The fox had managed to get the netting wrapped around a front leg and around its tail. After securing the fox Chris and Iain cut the netting but waited till they were back at WRAS’s Casualty Centre before entangling the fox completely to avoid any risk of the fox escaping.

These rescues are always quite tense situations and they are trying to flea from us and can be quite unpredictable and dangerous. The fox was quite large at 9kg, but once muzzled and in the First Aid Room Chris was able to remove the rest of the netting. The fox will now be under observations for a week as pressure wounds can be invisible and take time to show and be life threatening.

Netting is an ongoing problem with wild animals caught in different types of netting such as tennis court netting, cricket tunnel netting, goal netting and garden netting. We urge those who use such nettings to lift them off the ground when not in use or put them away to avoid this happening. A few years ago we had four hedgehogs caught in the same cricket netting on the same school field in Eastbourne over Christmas. Its not just foxes or hedgehogs, but also badgers, deer, owls and much more. If these animals are not spotted they face a long painful death or can easily strangle themselves trying to break free.

A poor blackbird has come in from Kingston Lewes with a hook in its throat and line wrapped tightly around its foot. Casualty Manager Chris and Rescuer Iain, had the delicate task of using a scalpel blade and scissors to gently remove the line from around the bird’s toes. Sadly he has lost one toe already due to the line being so tight. Still movement in the other toes so we remain hopeful that the bird will be releasable.

We have also had yet another gorgeous tawny owl come into care. This one was waiting for us at the Casualty Centre on Tuesday morning. The finders had found the road casualty owl near Gatwick the previous evening and they decided to deliver it to the Casualty Centre in the morning. If you find a casualty like this please call straight away rather than waiting till the morning as it is important to get medication into them as soon as possible.

Rescuer Tony Neads has also been out to a cold and unresponsive hedgehog in Albany Road Seaford. We have also had an adorable hedgehog from Sevens Sisters Road Eastbourne. Slightly lighter than we would like at 500 grams the finder thought the hedgehog was underweight and range WRAS for help. We have also had a hedgehog in from Framfield Road Uckfield with a nasty wound across its head and body. Casualty Manager Katie Nunn Nash admitted the hedgehog and spent ages cleaning up the wounds. They were not fresh and badly infected, but once clean there were signs of granulation tissue developing.

We have had a very poorly dove in from Dutchells Way Eastbourne. WRAS rescuers collected him and found he is suffering from canker, a fungal infection in the bird’s throat. He is now having one on one care due to needing fluids and warming up slowly. Fingers crossed for him.

Don’t forget to switch on and watch ITV’s Unbelievable Moments Caught On Camera programme on Sunday January 8, 2017 5.30pm as one of WRAS’s fox rescues will be featured.

For those who have not already heard. The Red Footed Booby which WRAS rescued on St Leonards beach has now been flown over to the Cayman Islands by British Airways . The bird was spotted on the beach at St Leonards several months ago and after coming into WRAS for initial care and treatment as RSPCA Mallydams were closed, WRAS were able to get him feeding and warmed up and housed him overnight before passing him to RSPCA Mallydams who have specialist facilities for sea birds at their centre in Fairlight. It’s a really great outcome, and well done to Mallydams for all they have done for him.

Rescuer Daryl is now over a week into his row across the Atlantic in aid of WRAS. By the end of Day 6 he had rowed over 214nm. Daryl has had to contend with some very rough weather which has caused Daryl he cut his head, and break a rudder cable. Brave Daryl has battled on and is expecting some better weather over Christmas and into the New Year. Please support his mammoth efforts for WRAS https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/atlanticsolo2016.