Watch out for snakes in the morning and evening g

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A YOUNG grass snake was rescued after being caught by a cat near Shinewater Park.

Rescuers went down to the scene and found the snake had been put into a glass jar by the finder.

Luckily it only had minor puncture wounds to its body so was brought back to WRAS’s Casualty Centre to be better assessed and given antibiotics.

The injuries were so minor that we decided to return the snake back the same day.

As the nights are colder, snakes will start to lose their body warmth and start slowing down which means their reactions will be slower to.

It is now and early spring when people come more into conflict with snakes, so please be careful first thing in the morning or last thing in the day as it gets cold.

Two little baby wood pigeons which we have named Pumpkin and Squash were made homeless last week after the fir tree they were living in was cut down to make way for some rescued donkeys to graze.

The householders were very upset as they had waited all summer before doing it thinking nesting would be over. Pumpkin is a lot larger than Squash, and they both been well fed by mum and Dad. They are now being looked after by Kate and Lindsay.

We have a Barn Owl come in over the weekend which we believe has hit a car. It is only a juvenile bird and able to fly but rather stunned and uncoordinated. As dusk moves earlier and earlier in the evening birds of prey which hunt at dusk and dawn on grass verges will start to come into conflict with our commuter traffic.

We will have a few ambulances problems over the next few weeks, as unfortunately a van drove into the back of one of our ambulances at the weekend.

It’s all being dealt with via the insurance but as usual I’m sure there will be a degree of hassle and disruption as usual whilst trying to get everything sorted out.

Our apologises for a few calls on Saturday which we weren’t able to deal with due to the accident.

We have had a couple of pheasants in care this week, one was rescued from the back of a garage in Lewes in the middle of a housing estate.

Millions of pheasants are released into the wild every year for hunting and shouting, and sadly we find ourselves having to pick up the pieces as the tame bird wander out into the traffic not knowing what a car or road is.

Many also wander away from the shooting area for safety and more and more often pheasants are coming into towns.

An ambulance rushed to the aid of a hedgehog caught by a strimmer at Ripe at the weekend. The injuries were very severe and internal organs were exposed and damaged as a result. The hedgehogs was rushed to the vets where they agreed that it was not possible to repair the injuries.

Talking of hedgehogs, we have decided to run a Hedgehog Awareness Weekend in the run up to the Guy Fawkes Celebrations in order to help keep hedgehogs and other wildlife safe over the period.

Over the weekend on October 13 and 14 I will be doing hour long sessions about hedgehog awareness.

The sessions will include meeting a hedgehog at WRAS’s Wildlife Hospital based at Whitesmith.

Numbers are limited to 15 people per session

The course is free of charge but there is a suggested minimum donation of £5. p..person. Refreshments will also be available. To book call 01825873003 between 10am and 6pm.

Hedgehogs are on the decline, and with the recent and rather worrying Thorny Headed Worm parasite which is killing hundreds of hedgehogs across the country at the moment, we are worried about their future.

These sessions are an opportunity for people to learn more about hedgehogs and how they can keep them safe.

East Sussex WRAS has dealt with over 210 hedgehogs so far in 2012. 83 of these have been found out during the day time, either emaciated or injured and the cause unclear.

Another 20 were orphans, 19 were road casualties, 19 with severe parasite problems, 10 caught by strimmers or mowers, 17 attacked by dogs, and the other were various problems from being trapped in drains, poisoned, caught in netting etc.

Out of the 83 found out during the day time, the cause of their problems has been difficult to confirm, many of these may have been poisoned, attacked by dogs, road casualties but it is difficult to confirm.

The Thorny Headed Worm has caused at least 15 deaths this year in hedgehogs which have come into care, but at present this is extremely difficult to test for until after death.

A typical hedgehog which has been attacked by a dog and has open wounds and injuries would cost East Sussex WRAS approximately £107.08 to be on-call for, an ambulance sent out on site to rescue the casualty, treat the wounds and injuries, and rehabilitate back to the wild over a five-week period.