Trevor’s Week - December 22, 2010

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HAPPY Christmas to you all. With yet another week of snow I have had to spend several nights sleeping at the Casualty Centre again – although this time I wasn’t quite as prepared and ended up having to use some of the animal blankets as bedding myself!

We have managed to get more of our hedgehogs out to our outside hibernation pens freeing up some cages at the centre.

Thanks to Kathy, Neil and Tony for clearing another derelict pigsty (in the blizzards last week) for us to convert into a hedgehog hotel. Poor Neil took more than four hours trying to get home to Haywards Heath from Hailsham due to the heavy snow fall.

Our volunteers have been invaluable during the snow and ice helping to get shifts covered.

Our badger is still with us but in an outdoor pen at Bexhill. We were going to release her but with the snow decided best to wait till the weather changes. The Tawny Owl is also with us still.

He went into an aviary and was flying well after a couple of days but yet again the snow came preventing us from releasing him.

Plot, one of our hedgehogs, had to go to the vets last week suffering from what we believe is disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC). We think there may have been an underlying infection as the cause but unfortunately Plot had to be put down which was very sad.

However, we have rescued several other hedgehogs this week including “Sprout” from East Hoathly trying to hibernate in a greenhouse but was too small to survive hibernation at just 270grams.

Also Brussel from Ringmer and Pie via St Anne’s vets.

George V and George VI went on an outing to the Yvonne Arnaud Theatre in Guildford last week.

They were invited by our Patron Sarah Jane Honeywell to visit her in panto. Sarah Jane is starring in Sleeping Beauty. Like her role hedgehogs up and down the country should be hibernating but thousands are being found underweight and too small to hibernate.

To highlight the plight of the hedgehogs Sarah Jane has been having her photo taken with the hedgehogs on stage to promote hedgehogs care.

We had a call about a possible bird of prey at Chiddingly, Tony B attended on site and rescued what turned out to be a domestic chicken.

Many thanks to Raystede at Ringmer for taking the bird on from us. You may have seen Raystede in the news recently as they are knitting “chickini” for several rescued factory farmed chickens which are lacking enough feathers to keep warm. We had a call from a listener of BBC Radio Sussex saying someone had called in saying it was not necessary to put out water for wildlife during the winter.

I was horrified by this, as apparently it was from someone who should know better.

It is very important fresh water is available as wildlife will be forced to drink out of dirty salty water on roads or look for other liquids which are not frozen, but these are normally chemicals like antifreeze etc.

Water is more important than food. You can go without food for days but not without water.

On our facebook page (www.facebook.com/wildlifeambulance) it was suggested by one person you place three bricks in a triangle and in the middle light a small tea light candle and then a metal bowl over the top.

The candle helps keep the water warm and delays freezing. Like us humans wildlife also needs to wash and they need fresh water to do this too. They can’t do this with snow.

We had a young swan come in from Princes Park on Sunday with a swollen ankle joint. She is now bedded down at the Casualty Centre and is awaiting better weather to be transported up to the Swan Sanctuary for treatment. She is on medication and now comfortable.

WRAS will be providing cover over the Christmas Period, Kathy and I are covering five days over Christmas including Christmas Day and Boxing Day, and Murrae and Monica are sharing cover over New Year.

We will be short of volunteers and may only be able to respond to emergencies but we will as ever, try our best to attend as many calls as we can.