We had two young deer to deal with this week. Duty Rescue Co-ordinator Chris and assisted Deer Rescue’s Chris and Slyvia Collinson in dealing with a young deer in Heathfield thought to be abandoned.
On arrival Chris Collison approached the youngster and assessed it. The little deer was less than a week old. It was very dehydrated, gums were pale and nothing in its stomach, meaning mum hadn’t fed for quite a while. Chris and Slyvia rushed it back to their home to get fluids into it and to warm it up.
The following day Chris Riddington, being on call, was asked to deal with another tiny one which he collected from Horam on Monday evening. Found two days previous with a leg trapped on a wire fence in Ashdown Forest. A lady took the deer home, looked after the poor little creature and then spoke to one of the forest rangers who got in contact with WRAS. Suffering with a limp on the leg, dehydrated and less then a week old, the poor creature was taken to WRAS’s Casualty Centre where Deer Rescue Chris and Sylvia Collinson collected the deer and took it back to their home for specialist care and feeding through the night.
If anyone has purchased a catapult for their children you might want to think twice about letting them use it. We have had yet another incident in Hailsham Town Centre of young people using a catapult to injur wild birds.
A gull came crashing to the ground in Hailsham Church yard on Sunday as a result of these youngsters. The amount of blood loss and a large open fracture means this gull won’t be able to support its family any more.
The fact the children were throwing chips to the poor bird to encourage it close to be able to shoot it, makes it even more disturbing. They were actually thinking of the best way to hurt the bird. To intentionally kill or injure a bird is illegal under the wildlife and countryside act. If your child left home with a catapult Sunday in Hailsham it maybe worth speaking to them and you could well end up with the Police knocking on your door. Our care team was in tears. There no need for this at all and it completely wastes our time and the charity’s precious resources .
We are extremely busy at the moment and very full. We are having to say we can’t take in some species depending on what cage space we have available. The situation changes on a daily basis depending on what we have been able to treat and release. So having to deal with these unnecessary cruelty cases just makes the situation worse.
Kathy and I rushed to the aid of some baby hedgehogs in Uckfield at the weekend. We found two little bodies on the ground outside of a nest in the garden. One was sadly injured and dead. In the nearby nest were two others. They were all cold and clearly abandoned. They were picked up and checked over and Kathy gently warmed them up. They were soon at the Casualty Centre where Katie is now looking after them.
At this time of year many birds are in the process of fledging. These birds will be fully feathers. No bald patches under the wings, no fluff around their body sticking through their proper feathers. If they do have bald patches and fluff then they are out of the nest too early and need rescuing. Fledgling birds will have wing tips which are reaching, at least, the base of the tail too if not longer. If you find a fledgling please do not rush in and pick it up unless it is in immediate danger of being run over etc. It is unusual for a fledgling bird to be able to fly properly when it first leaves the nest, they need to build up the muscle strength in their wings before being able to sustain flight. As a result they can be down on the ground for a couple of days while learning to fly. Getting them off the ground into a tree or hedge helps to keep them safe and less vulnerable to predators. All birds have to run the risk of predators, that is natural and they are part of the food chain.
The parents won’t always come down to them and to encourage them to fly they will often withhold food to encourage the youngsters to fly to them. If you have any doubt about whether a bird is a fledgling take a photo and call you local rescue and seek advice about the age of the bird and whether it should be left alone.
We have had a few bats this week. One was rescued after being found unable to fly inside Glyndebourne Opera House, which turned out to be pregnant. After some care from Jenny Clark at the Bat Hospital, it was left with the Sussex Bat Group to return to its roost to give birth. We have been working hard with Bird Aid at Hailsham dealing with numerous gull chicks which have fallen from roof tops. Where possible we try to get them back onto the roof.