TREVOR’S WEEK: Gulls causing us plenty of problems

BY FAR the majority of calls we have received this week have been about fledgling gulls.

Many are jumping off roof tops and landing on the ground as they don’t have enough muscle strength to fly properly.

Regular readers will know that as with most birds they can’t fly when they first fledge and have to spend some time on the ground building up the muscle strength before they can sustain flight.

The same goes for these fledgling gulls. If not in immediate danger leave them alone or usher them into a place of safety like a garden close to where they were found.

We have released two of our gulls this week. The botulism gull which couldn’t even lift its head off the floor, couldn’t use its legs or wings, nor eat when it first was admitted, has now made a full recovery.

A second gull which is thought to have been hit by a car or crashed into a window is also better. Both gulls have been released fit and well back in Eastbourne not far from where found.

I MUST apologise to anyone calling on Saturday afternoon and evening, as we had a problem with the rescue line answerphone. The messages were not being forwarded and eventually came through very late at night.

If that wasn’t enough we also had a problem last week when our phones were down due to work being undertaken at the hospital for several hours.

On speaking to a number of callers over the past few weeks, it is clear people think we are a lot bigger than we actually are.

WRAS is only a small local charity and we only have limited funds available which sadly means we are not able to help everyone , nor take in everything.

However, each year we help more and more. Many wildlife rescue organisations do not collect casualties especially the smaller animals and birds which people can transport of their own accord, but WRAS has always believed in trying to help from the start out on site where possible.

We don’t have a call centre with staff waiting to take calls, so if I’m out dealing with a baby deer like I was on Thursday last week, it can be difficult to deal with the casualty and answer the rescue line at the same time.

When we don’t have any other volunteer rescuers available I can find myself on the road, and it is obvious difficult to return calls as quickly especially when driving or handling casualties. However we do try our best, and I am sorry if we have not been able to help.

ELBOW the little fox cub is improving even more - visit our Facebook page at or check out our new Flickr photo site www.flickr.com/photos/eastsussexwras, to see the latest photos and rescue news.

You can also check out a short video and some photos of a baby fallow deer which we tried to save last week too.

The little deer was hit by a car at Maresfield, and a passing motorist picked him up and rushed him down to our casualty centre.

We performed an ultrasound on his abdomen to discover a pooling of fluid. He was given medication and then taken to see one of our vets and given intravenous fluids and additional medication.

We all agreed to give him 24 hours and then re-assess his condition. We then settled him down with Debbie at Rotherfield.

Sadly after a few hours he started passing blood, and the abdominal swelling was getting worse. He had to go back into the vets where sadly we had no option left but to put him to sleep.

WE HAVE yet more bats to deal with this week, including a brown long eared bat at Kingston near Lewes.

The bat was an adult but very thin and emaciated, yet another victim of the poor weather conditions. He was given fluid and warmed up, then transported to Jenny at the Sussex Bat Hospital.

The three baby Pipistrelle bats rescued over the last two weeks are all doing very well and we couldn’t believe the difference in them when we saw them

WE ARE getting a lot of emaciated pigeons in at the moment, mainly juvenile feral pigeons struggling to find food now they are independent.

We have also had a number of birds in from locations where food used to be readily available but has been stopped.

Please if you have been feeding birds, or any animal on a regular basis and wish to stop doing so, reduce the food slowly rather than just stopping.

We would always recommend feeding sporadically as a rule rather than daily, so that wildlife does not become solely reliant on it

FINALLY show your support for the RSPCA and Badger Trust in opposing the cull of badgers in Sussex.

A cull of badgers is a pointless waste of life and a gross waste of the tax payers money. Some £91 million was spent culling 25,000 cattle – money better spent on vaccinating badgers and cattle in affected areas.

I was to say the least shocked that the Badger Trust did not win their court case. All these attempts to control Tb have been tried time and time again in various countries and have never worked in controlling Tb.

However, vaccination and improve bio-security as well as testing of cattle prior to transportation have resulted in reductions of Tb.

The biggest increase in Tb across the UK was after the foot and mouth outbreak when many cattle were being transported around the country untested.

All cattle should be tested prior to being moved away from the main farm or before being sold and moved to a different farm. This should include farmers moving cattle to rented land away from their main farm.