Why moles do not do well in captivity

Trevor Weeks. East Sussex WRAS Wildlife Rescue and Ambulance Service.
Trevor Weeks. East Sussex WRAS Wildlife Rescue and Ambulance Service.

We had a really sad incident this week when this little mole was delivered to WRAS’s Casualty Centre, the mole had been seen roaming round a garden during the day time fairly franticly. T

he finder placed him on their compost heap, hoping he would dig into the loose soil but he didn’t and just continued running round.

By the end of the day they rang WRAS for advice and delivered the mole across to the Casualty Centre.

On examination he was very hyper, there was a bald patch at the base of his tail and when we turned him over there was a prolapse. After seeking some veterinary advice his injuries were treated and pain relief plus antibiotics then bedded down and made comfortable. Sadly he passed away a couple of hours later, but at least he was comfortable.

We always seek advice from other more experienced rescue centres when taking in an unusual casualty is admitted, and they all said the same that moles do not do well in captivity and those who survive are normally those who are able to be released quickly.

Although many people see them as pests due to digging up gardens, they are a wild animal which we rarely see. Their feet are amazing in size compared to their body and fur is extremely soft.

A new fledgling dove came in last week, he was found grounded in a garden. He is huge for his age, compared to our others so he has been named ‘Heffalump’. He has some calcium deficiency, legs aren’t that strong and tail partly in pin but I am not surprised he couldn’t get off the ground as he is so big.

Being young he was taken to carer Kathy in Uckfield for the night to be given fluids and warmth into the night. He is now doing very well and is down at the Casualty Centre and is doing well learning to eat for himself.

Our first three fox cubs of 2013 are doing well. As Monica is off work with a broken ankle, she was really pleased to have them to look after and to take her mind of being stuck at home. The three cubs which have been named Rafael, Raul and Rosa came in from Seaford. They need a lot of love and attention at this age, they need to be bottle fed, cleaned and toileted regularly too. As they get older our contact with them will become less and less. Eventually we will cut out human contact.