TREVOR WEEKS: Sleep is in short supply

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Sleep is in short supply at the moment and I’m relieved that Chris has now taken the out of hours phone on for a couple of weeks. We’ve had a number of late night rescues or finishes.

Gone midnight I was called out by paramedics at the Conquest Hospital at Hastings after they came across a duck which had been hit by a car outside the hospital. I had just been to Decoy Pond Hampden Park after reports of a disturbance to the swans, so was already on the road. I headed straight to the A&E department where paramedics had the duck wrapped up warm. I checked the duck over and it was clear the bird had received a blow to the head so emergency medication was given there and then before driving back to our Casualty Centre.

In the morning the duck was x-rayed and found to have a fractured jaw, and a split in the beak. Due to the damage around the beak the duck has now gone up to the Swan Sanctuary for specialist veterinary help.

I am sure everyone recalls the heroic efforts of WRAS volunteer Daryl Farmer, who, rowed the Atlantic solo! On March the 19th, WRAS manager Chris had been speaking to Daryl via satellite phone awaiting news of Daryl’s impending crossing. Daryl was due to cross the 61 degree line at some point that day. Once Daryl had got to this line he could officially say he had crossed the Atlantic. Just after 5pm Chris messaged Daryl asking for news, just as WRAS took a rescue from Badger Trust Sussex, regarding Daryl’s favourite wildlife creature.

The timing was impeccable, as Daryl crossed the Atlantic, the badger was being admitted to WRAS. So, there was only one name that this badger could have “Bojangles”, named after Daryl’s boat that had safely seen him across the Atlantic.

The pressure was on now to pull this badger through after having such a name placed on its shoulders. He had some horrific wounds to the neck, head and mouth. Chris, Katie and I spent the evening cleaning them. The next day he went to Henley House Vets in Uckfield to have the infected wounds drained and cleaned under sedation.

As Daryl returned home, Bo got stronger and when Daryl returned to his rescue shift, the two finally met! This week Daryl’s boat Bojangles arrived back in the UK from Antigua.

And last night another Bojangles also returned home to Portslade too. Daryl and Trevor safely released him back to his home in the early hours of Monday morning in the new WRAS ambulance, that Daryl and Rowers Ark have helped get on the road!

Between 6pm Friday and midnight Saturday WRAS admitted more than one casualty an hour.

There were 32 admissions, one rescue for another rescue centre, three rescues that evaded and numerous advice calls. We have also had help from Bexhill Wildlife Rescue, who dealt with two casualties for us which we collected from them and others we asked them to deal with as we were so busy.

Also, Chris and Sylvia Collinson who collected two, one-week-old deer twins after their mum was attacked in Pulborough. Six animals have also gone back to the wild and our first batches of orphan birds have gone to their outdoor pen. Our vet Mike has also been busy sedating and X-raying our badger and helping oversee our casualties.

Rescuers Wren and Niall have been to Hellingly to collect a very sweet mole after he was caught by a cat. He had a small wound to his back but is otherwise okay. This is the second one we have had this week. We’ve also had a little moorhen chick admitted. He is a feisty little devil and has been transferred to our friends at the swan sanctuary in Shepperton. Thank you to rescuer Alison for being his taxi.

Rescuers Chris, Katie and Hannah rushed to Battle after a badger was hit by a car. The callers very kindly waited for rescuers to arrive. On arrival the badger was mobile and started walking towards a hedgerow and toward a set of steps down an embankment. Katie tried to catch the badger, but the badger had a better idea and sent Chris and Katie on a run through a pitch black field. Chris managed to jump the badger and pin it down while Katie secured its head and blocked its escape with a net. Hannah rushed down with the badger cage and helped transfer it to the ambulance. At the centre the team examined the badger and contacted WRAS’s vet Mike. His injures are now being assessed. East Sussex WRAS was established as a voluntary group in 1996, but some of its rescuers have been rescuing since 1985. The organisation was set up in order to provide a front-line rescue service for wildlife casualties who unlike their domesticated cousins, do not have owners to help look after them.