TREVOR WEEKS: Looking back to some of our more memorable rescues of 2017

Daryl on his boat in the middle of the Atlantic SUS-171215-111648001
Daryl on his boat in the middle of the Atlantic SUS-171215-111648001

Over the next couple of weeks I’ll be looking back at 2017 to some of the most memorable rescues. 2017 was yet another busy year for WRAS.

January saw rescuer Kathy dealing with a fox with a rear leg caught in stock fencing in Ardingly.

This was one of three such incidents dealt with in January.

The fox was swiftly controlled and cut free and brought into care.

After quite a bit of veterinary work the fox’s leg recovered and was eventually released back into the wild.

Every month during 2017 Kathy has had baby collared doves to rear.

They started very easy in January rather than the normal March time for us.

This has kept Kathy busy all year around with even youngsters coming into care in December too.

Early February, rescuers Kai, Fiona and Chris rushed to the aid of a swan which it the railings at the side of the A22 Golden Jubilee Way bridge next to Shinewater Park, Eastbourne.

A motorist was shocked to see the swan spin round in the air after hitting the bridge before disappearing out of view.

Rescuers found a swan on a swan pond at the base of the bridge which was caught and assessed but luckily there were not serious injuries.

One of the most horrendous incidents we dealt with in 2017 when a couple of out of control dogs chased and injured three deer near Newick.

The panicked deer, trying to escape, charged into fencing and trees.

One deer died before we arrived, but two other which we initially though might be savable had to be put down due to spinal and pelvic damage.

The incident was reported to Sussex Police.

February saw rescuers dealing with several pigeons trapped inside Uckfield Leisure Centre, as well as working with the Fire Service in London Road Brighton to rescue a trapped pigeon caught in netting.

A pigeon caught in netting outside Lewes Railway Station had to be rescued along with Chris and I had the job of catching a pigeon from inside the roof of Next in Bexhill, which we successfully managed and released.

March saw Chris and Katie rush to Princes Park in Eastbourne to rescue bloodied swan.

Due to the possible neck injury, rescuers had to be careful with their approach and capture to ensure they didn’t make the swan worse.

Balanced on the metal grille across the inlet stream, Chris managed to reach the swan and bring it to safety.

The swan made a complete recovery and was eventually released back at Princes Park.

It is though the swan may had crashed into something, causing the injury and bleeding.

March saw rescuer Daryl Farmer complete his Atlantic solo row, which had taken him 96 days rowing single handed without the use of an engine or sails.

His amazing achievement was to see WRAS launch a new veterinary ambulance and later in the year Daryl to be presented with a BBC Sussex and Surrey Community Heroes Award for his amazing efforts.

2017 was a horrendous year for cruelty cases.

I rushed down to Eastbourne after a person found an animal trapped inside a black bin bag.

Frightened to touch it the person was not sure what was inside.

On opening the bag it turned out to be a very badly injured pigeon.

It has to be one of the most distressing call-outs I’ve ever attended.

I never thought the poor bird would survive, but to my amazement he has.

He unfortunately lost the sight in one eye but has been found a permanent home with some other elderly pigeons where he can live out the rest of his life.

This was followed by three gulls seriously injured after youths were encouraging them down into the road to be run over.

A car ploughed into one, killing it instantly, and leaving two others with nasty injuries. Again these incidents were passed on to Sussex Police but they just haven’t the resources to investigate.