Trevor’s Week - March 16, 2011

The badger which was caught in a snare near Chiddingly
The badger which was caught in a snare near Chiddingly

WHAT a change! In the past week our call-out rate has doubled and we are suddenly getting the spring baby season starting. Where do I start?

Tuesday last week Kathy and I rushed to the aid of a road casualty badger on a lane between Piltdown and Barcombe.

A local resident phoned after finding the badger collapsed in the lane just along from his house.

Luckily we arrived on site within 20 minutes and were able to give first aid to the badger at the road side, checking for spinal and skull damage before lifting the badger into a secure cage for transport to the Casualty Centre for better assessment.

We were amazed at the amount of blood on the road and coming out of the badgers mouth when we picked her up. Back at the centre we were able to further assess and rule out many other possible injuries, however the badger was taken to see vet Chris Halls at Henley House Vets at Uckfield the following morning to ensure there were no jaw or skull fractures.

The badger was extremely lucky and had only bitten through her tongue.

Of course at this time of year we have to be very careful about animals being pregnant which luckily she wasn’t.

You can help raise funds for East Sussex Wildlife Rescue by taking out comprehensive breakdown cover or home emergency cover, or both, with Emergency Assist 24.

If you mention reference ESWRAS when calling the company will donate money to help us save wildlife!

You can find out more via the fundraising page on our website www.wildlifeambulance.org/donation/fundraising, then visit www.eassist24.co.uk

Everyone doing well down at Hellingly, no one has needed to come back to the centre this week, three more hedgehogs have gone down to the hog stys for hibernation too – Crackle, Henry VI & Parsnip (who we really didn’t think would make it a month ago).

We now have very few hedgehogs at the centre and the majority of them are now outside being encouraged to hibernate and it won’t be too long before they can be released.

A few people have contacted us recently about hedgehogs they have had over winter themselves at home after being found out underweight at the beginning of winter.

Please please please if you have a hedgehog which you have overwintered please do not release it back to the wild until Easter, and please return it to where it was found.

It is not a good idea to release them into new areas especially if there are not already hedgehogs about, as it probably means there is a good reason they don’t exist there, like there being badgers present.

Thursday last week saw Sue and I rush to the aid of a badger caught in a snare near Chiddingly.

A local resident called WRAS. She had seen the badger the previous day and not thought anything of it, but found the badger in exactly the same position 24 hours later.

Snares are extremely cruel and cause a lot of suffering and personally I think they should be banned.

These snares, of which there were seven along the hedgerow where the badger was found, are legal free running snares.

As far as I am aware the person who sets the snares is supposed to check them on a regular basis, this clearly has not happened on this occasion and the badger has a nasty ligature wound to its chest and back as a result.

The badger was clearly in a lot of distress and pain and will be for a while to come. This badger will take some time to heal but we hope it makes a full recovery.

The badger has been moved from the centre to a larger covered pen where the ligature wound will be monitored. The incident has been reported to Sussex Police.

Karen Breese is doing amazingly well and last weekend ran the Lydd Half Marathon, but she did not stop at the finishing line, she continued running a further seven miles in preparation for the three full marathons which are still to come!

Please go on-line and support Karen’s amazing effort to help us stop to provide support to our local community, helping those who find sick, injured and orphaned wildlife.

You can donate at www.justgiving.com/kazwras.

OUR SWAN from Lewes has finally been released again back to the wild.

Has anyone noticed the decrease in swans at Princes Park, Eastbourne? The numbers normally drop at this time of year but not normally this low.

This may be as a result of a territorial pair of swans which have been slowly driving off other swans over the past few months.

This unfortunately means we won’t be able to use the site as a release location in the future as the lake has now lost its non-territorial status.

If anyone knows of a lake or large pond where there are numerous swans and not just the one family using the site please let us know so we can investigate the suitability of the location as a release site for swans.

WE HAVE had three baby squirrels come in for care this week from just down the road from the casualty centre. Previously we have had to pass all squirrels over to other organisation to take on as they can’t be released into the wild without a licence.

We are going to approach English Nature about obtaining a licence this year so we can release some ourselves. These three were rather underweight and cold when found and had clearly been thrown out of their nest probably by a predator.

WRAS volunteers Monica and Sue are jointly rearing them around their work schedule and doing an amazing job.