Trevor’s Week: Fallow deer on the way to recovery

WE WERE called out to a young fallow deer in a woodland near Dallington, between Heathfield and Battle, last week.

Local residents had cut a deer free the previous day from stock fencing and released her to run off. The following day a deer was found down in a stream unable to climb out.

Stuart and I attended on site within 30 minutes. It was quite a drive down a long bumpy track into the depths of a woodland. We were shown where the deer had been last seen, and after a 10-minute search she was found hidden behind some vegetation. Stuart and I approached the two-year-old deer from either end of the stream.

As she tried to climb out Stuart grabbed her and pinned her to the floor. After assessing of her injuries, we loaded her onto a stretcher and carried her back to the ambulance where she was secured and transported back to WRAS’s Casualty Care Centre.

She was given medication and her wounds cleaned and washed. We let her settle down for a while and dry out before getting three of the wounds on her leg stitched. One wound was over six inches long and almost down to the bone.

Another wound up on her thigh was quite nasty, as well as a wound on her foot and several puncture marks on her head and rear. The ligature pressure has caused thickening of the skin in several places but we are giving her medication to encourage circulation to counteract this damage.

Kathy and I have been working hard over the weekend, getting her standing, keeping her wounds clean, and medicating her twice a day and encouraging her to eat and drink. We are not sure whether the leg is going to recover, but fingers crossed she will make a recovery.

Tony, Claire, Dilly and I caught a little fox cub under a shed in Eastbourne last week after the owner of the shed grew concerned about the cub’s health. There were at least six cubs under the shed and mum was not present. One of the cubs had mange. It was not easy to catch the cub, hence the need for four rescuers.

The cub is now at the centre being treated, and should make a full recovery. We hope to release the cub that had its head caught in chain link fencing from Ardingly. We also had a cub in with jaundice. The cub was placed on fluids but died the first night.

We had a robin come into care after becoming caught on fly paper. The bird had to be removed and washed. The fly paper had been hung up outside around a chicken run. Please do not use fly papers outside as it is pointless trying to control flies in this way and dangerous for our wildlife. Bats get caught in them as well.

The bird could just about fly, so after a few days he made a full recovery.

There are alternatives to fly paper that are safer for wildlife. In an outdoor location, try using pyrethrum, which gives off its own natural insecticide. Eucalyptus oil on absorbent cloths works too. There are fly traps that use honey or other sweet tasting products to trap flies inside containers. Indoors you can make small sachets of crushed mint placed around the home to discourage flies. Bay leaves, cloves and eucalyptus wrapped in small cheesecloth squares can be hung by open windows or doors. Placing an open container of sweet basil and clover near open food will deter flies.

Over the next month, some work will be carried out at our Casualty Care Centre. The flooring is being put down upstairs and next door, so that the Volunteer rest area can move and make way for a new Casualty Room upstairs. The Orphan Rearing Rooms will have proper flooring at last too.

The cages in the Isolation Room and First Aid Room are moving upstairs, and the Isolation is now being converted into an x-ray Room. We have lead lining going up on the walls, and a new table, x-ray stand, x-ray machine all being installed, plus the doors to the new x-ray room,

Casualty Room 2 and the First Aid Room are being widened so we can wheel the exam table through more easily. Exciting times ahead and yet another service we can provide for sick and injured wildlife we deal with. I would like to thank everyone who has helped raise money or made donations to make this all possible.