Trevor’s Week - May 4, 2011

WHAT an interesting week, and a variety of calls and rescues - including to a badger which had fallen into an empty swimming pool.

Owner Mr Horton and his wife discovered the badger on Wednesday last week and placed a piece of wood in the pool in the hope the animal might climb out but unfortunately it was still there the next morning.

I was accompanied by volunteers Kathy Martyn and Neil Harvey. Badgers are difficult to catch at the best of times and this location was not easy, especially with the nettles.

Neil approached from one angle and I from the other and using a catch net and dog grasper we were able to corner the badger in the vegetation, before lifting him into a waiting cage.

After examination I could tell the badger was in good condition - certainly no broken bones or wounds.

It was taken to East Sussex WRAS’s Casualty Care Centre where it was bedded down for the day and released back at the farm late that evening.

The poor little thing must have been frightened and worried - the sides of the pool were over 6ft in places. I hope he will avoid the pool in future and will have learnt from his mistake.

A GROUP of ducklings had a narrow escape last Friday morning after being led by their mum across the busy A22 dual carriageway by the Willingdon Drove roundabout at Eastbourne.

Unfortunately the mum was run over and killed but the ducklings scattered across the road panicking. Rescuers spent more than two hours catching the ducklings on the grass verge.

Rescuers were able to catch 12 out of a possible 14 and thought it appropriate to name the ducklings ‘The Royal Family’ as this was all going on during the wedding service.

Rescuers were scratched and stung during the mission - having to get inside bushes, behind brambles and through stinging nettles to rescue the little bundles of fluff!

The ducklings are now at Blackberry Farm Children’s Activity Centre on the A22 where staff will rear them and give them a good home.

SIAN Kneller is holding a charity raffle with lots of amazing prizes, with the money raised going to East Sussex Wildlife Rescue and Ambulance Service (WRAS). Sian being a keen bird watcher and lover of all wildlife, has chosen WRAS as a cause that is close to her heart.

You can enter Sian’s raffle via her justgiving page – www.justgiving.com/WRASRAFFLE. Tickets are £2 each. You can buy tickets in multiples of £2 by clicking ‘donate now’.

When entering, you will also need to name the bird pictured on her justgiving site – good luck!

EAST Sussex WRAS is running a photograph competition this summer and we would like to encourage you to take part. We have been donated a number of prizes and the 12 winning entries will be put into a 2012 calendar and sold to raise funds for WRAS.

We already have an array of prizes which will be listed on our website shortly, but will include various vouchers and free places on different photography courses and much more. See www.facebook.com/wildlifeambulance for more information.

WE HAVE had a number of other calls about ducklings over the past week, mainly from people who have found ducklings in their gardens.

If you do find some please leave alone, do not rush out and pick them up as two people did last week scaring off mum.

Gardens are much safer than village and park ponds where foxes, gulls, cats, mink, stoats, pike, swan, other ducks and more could kill the ducklings.

Mum will know exactly where she wants to go and how to get there, rarely does she make a mistake.

The only time you should intervene is if the ducklings are being walked along or across a road.

We would advise anyone who sees a mum and ducklings to call WRAS for advice first before stepping in and doing the wrong thing.

The mother duck is the best person to rear the ducklings and it is very likely that she will have some taken by predators like gulls, cats, foxes, birds of prey, mink and other but this is nature and they are not all supposed to survive.

They are part of the food chain, or otherwise all animals would have been made vegetarian.

Please do not catch and move ducklings to your local pond, as you may well be sending them to their death especially if you scare mum off in the process.

Mum knows a little stream or pond hidden between the houses or in a field somewhere which you don’t know about, and which is safer too.

WE HAVE also had various calls about injured pigeons, including more caught in netting.

WE HAVE had a hedgehog in suffering from Balloon Syndrome, a very unusual condition which causes the hedgehog to inflate like a balloon.

There are two normal causes, the first is trauma causing air to leak into the subcutaneous layers of skin or a bacterial infection which gives off gas which builds up in the subcutaneous layers of skin.

This hedgehog came from Hove and has lost the use of one of its eyes sadly, but we now have the balloon syndrome under control and the hedgehog is now back to a normal size once again.

The poor hedgehog will need an operation to remove the lost eye but should make a good enough recovery to be released.

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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