Trevor’s Week - March 14, 2012: In tune with mouse stuck in a piano!

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WE HAVE continued to get more dovelets in this week, aged only about two to three weeks old. One was caught by a cat. WRAS carer Monica has kindly looked after him before passing him to WRAS carer Kathy.

He has been named Duncan and has a lot of superficial injuries, bruising and a lot of bald patches from the cat. His calcium deficiency has caused poor and erratic feather growth.

We had a very unusual call to a wood mouse trapped under a piano in Pevensey. WRAS rescuer Carrie Grace helped me with the capture which took more than 45 minutes!

Carrie and I spent ages on our hands and knees trying to reach the frightened little creature. The mouse eventually managed to escape and get behind a book case. By chance more than skill, we were able to catch the mouse under the bookcase where we were then able to remove the a panel at the front and reach in and catch him.

The mouse had no visible injuries but puncture marks from cat’s teeth and claws are not always possible to see, so our vet authorised us to administer a one-off antibiotic and then release him straight away.

He was released at the edge of a field by a hedgerow with plenty of cover to hide from any predators.

Our road casualty fox found on the A259 near Beachy Head about six weeks ago has now moved into one of our large indoor pens.

He is now off his treatment and his head is much more level and his vision has returned to both eyes well.

We are really pleased he has recovered so well, as initially we had doubts as to whether he would survive. But, as with all casualties, we treat them as individuals and provide an ongoing assessment and re-evaluation of their care. We hope he will be suitable for release this week.

Sussex Police delivered a small cat-attacked sparrow to WRAS’s Casualty Care Centre for treatment last week. They are now looking for a black and white cat approximately 14 inches tall, one white ear with blood on its teeth, birds in the area are being advised not to approach as the cat is thought to be dangerous!

On a more serious note, thank you to Sussex Police who were caring enough to stop and take action. Too many people ignore the smaller and more common animals and birds. True caring is about caring for birds and animals including humans (who are animals after all).

WRAS’s ambulance has been out to check on a seal in the outer section of Sovereign Harbour last week, after receiving a call from a worried member of the public saying it was crying and making a lot of noise.

Kate and I took a drive down to the harbour and found a young seal “bananaring” and eventually swam off, looking fairly healthy, although slightly thin due to the time of year.

Bananaring is a term used when seals rest on rocks, sunning themselves, they lift their head up and tail flippers up forming the banana shape with their body. When poorly they don’t normally do this.

WRAS’s Unusual Quiz Night made just under £500 profit! We have decided to run another one at Berwick Village Hall on Saturday July 7 from 7pm till 11pm.

Advance booking is £10 per person and includes entry to the quiz and free food. Entry on the door £12.50.

Our ambulance rushed out to a pigeon hanging above a shop in Uckfield High Street.

We only took 15 minutes to arrive but it looked like the bird may have died by the time we arrived.

We erected our ladders which were too short, as the building was rather high, but using a long pole we were able to reach across to check whether it was alive.

Sadly the poor bird had died. If alive we would have had to call out the Fire Brigade, to use longer ladders.

Kathy and I had no choice but to leave the pigeon as we just couldn’t get close enough to remove it.

I strongly believe that anyone who erects netting over a building to prevent birds from nesting should maintain the netting and check at least once a quarter to ensure that the netting is intact and doesn’t need any repairs. Failure to maintain netting which leads to the death of any bird should be an offence.

Other rescues this week have included a crashed swan at Bexhill which may have been chased by a dog which got into trouble, also possible road casualty crow with nasty injuries to its wing and head.

Plus a hedgehog at Hamsey near Lewes covered in hundreds of ticks, a rabbit which had been attacked by a cat at Hellingly, plus a pigeon thought to be trapped behind netting in Polegate High Street, but on arrival it was discovered the birds could get in and out on their own.

There was also a very poorly hedgehog at Herstmonceux, which has come out of hibernation in a poorly condition which sadly didn’t make it.

Thank you to everyone who came along to our volunteer recruitment day a couple of weeks ago, we are still working our way through all of the forms, we didn’t expect over 60 people to attend - please be patient with us.

This coming weekend (March 17 and 18) we will be at Go Wild a special event being organised at Paradise Park in Newhaven.

There will be several organisations present including WRAS to talk about their work with wildlife. We are there all weekend from 10am till 5pm, please come along and say hello and to make a donation!

Advance warning of two worthwhile events. On April 6 our colleagues at the Jessie’s Trust will be holding their anniversary fair at the War Memorial Hall, Alfriston, 12 noon till 4pm, featuring a Guinness World Record attempt for Most people dressed as a Dalmatian at 2pm plus Pet Shows, cake stalls, bric-a-brac and more.

I have been asked to attend and help judge the pet show. There will be a special appearance by Miss Cruella de Ville too!

On the April 8 Eastbourne Bonfire Society will be holding their Easter Sunday Fair at the Redoubt Fortress on Eastbourne Seafront.

WRAS will have a stall as it is one of the four charities being supported by the Bonfire Society this year.

There will be a parade from Holywell to the Redoubt and bucket rattling, with the fair opening at 11am. So please come along, meet and support us.

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East Sussex WRAS is a voluntary organisation which relies on donations, receiving no funding from government or the RSPCA. Anyone wishing to make a donation should contact the treasurer at PO Box 2148, Seaford, BN25 9DE.

24-hour rescue line: 07815 078234

www.wildlifeambulance.org