Trevor’s Week - July 13, 2011: Button has become a mum

WELL, how proud are we! Button, who was rescued from stock fencing on October 18 2009, has grown up and given birth to her own little baby.

Only foster parents Chris and Sylvia have been able to see her so far and Button is very careful as to when she shows her baby, but Chris has managed to get a couple of photos and the baby is clearly doing well.

Pregnant fallow deer will disappear from their herd to give birth and can spent two-three weeks or more away looking after their baby before bringing them back to the herd.

However, Button only disappeared for about a week, and clearly wanted to show off her baby to her foster parents. Billie, one of the other rescued fallow deer from two years ago, has also come back with a little baby too.

We also have three baby fallow deer in care at the moment, Dottie a little fallow girl was caught in fencing at Rotherfield a few weeks ago, Dolly a slightly larger fallow girl was a road casualty handed to the RSPCA and passed on to WRAS, and now Del Boy a little fallow boy who was caught by a dog at Chelwood Corner. All three baby deer are a worry as they have one problem or another and Del Boy has had to visit the vets four times in the past week due to his bite injuries which have torn the muscle. We have our fingers crossed for them all and foster parents Chris and Sylvia are working very hard.

I’m also pleased to say we have raised enough money to have the builders in this week. They have been constructing the pens in the back room, the four large walk in pens will be suitable for test flying birds, holding badgers, foxes, baby deer, groups of hedgehogs, swans, geese, ducklings and more.

We were called to Lewes to a nest of hedgehogs which had been disturbed as a greenhouse was demolished. The residents covered over the nest and placed some straw in the entrance to a makeshift hedgehogs’ house. After a few days the straw had not been moved and they were concerned that the babies had been abandoned.

WRAS rescuers attended on site and found two healthy baby hedgehogs and the reason the straw had not been disturbed was because mum had dug a tunnel out the back of the hedgehogs’ house, fooling the residents into thinking she had not moved anywhere. The nest was covered over again and mum has been seen returning and visiting.

We have received quite a few calls from people concerned about snakes visiting gardens. Some vets and even councils are giving out advice that the way to identify an adder is the “V” mark on the back of the head.

This is misleading advice, as this “V” is not easy to see on the adder unless you are very close, whereas the yellow/white collar or “V” on the back of the grass snake’s head is very visible and is therefore causing people to mistake grass snakes for adders.

If your cat or dog is bitten by any snake it should be checked out by your vet.

We had a visit from a film crew from the children’s programme Dick and Dom Go Wild, two children spent the day with us and got to help with a spotted woodpecker, some foxes and two of our baby deer. It was a long day but hopefully educational for the children.

Thank you to everyone who came up to us at the 999 Emergency Services Show which was bigger and better than ever before this year.

Luckily the weather was good as we had an outside pitch this year. We managed to raise about £500 over the weekend, so thank you very much indeed.

It has been extremely busy over the past two weeks, and we have all been working long hours recently.

We have a barn owl and a tawny owl in at the moment, both were hit by cars.

The barn owl was found on the grass verge just north of the Drusillas roundabout. The tawny owl was found on the A26 just north of Five Ash Down. They have responded well to treatment and should be released this week. Sue, Kathy, Monica, Kate, Chris, Sylvia, Debbie and I have all been rearing little babies of one kind or another over the past few weeks, from baby hedgehogs, wagtails, rabbits, bats, pigeons and more!

We have taken on three times as many babies this year than any other year and this has only been possible thanks to the dedication and time put in by the volunteers and the financial support given to WRAS by International Animal Rescue.