Trevor’s Week - June 22, 2011: It’s been a difficult week

Hedgehog. Picture courtesy of Sussex Wildlife Trust
Hedgehog. Picture courtesy of Sussex Wildlife Trust

WHAT a difficult week we have had, it gets so frustrating at this time of year that we can’t afford to respond to more calls.

It’s not just finances which can restrict rescues but also a lack of suitable volunteers and a willingness to be on call for long enough to make it worthwhile being on call.

Although the centre is not full, we can’t just put any casualties in any cages, for example the cages we have had hedgehogs in are not suitable for putting fledglings in as they can escape through the door.

Amazingly we have more animals off site at volunteers’ homes in rehabilitation pens than we do at the hospital!

Our food bill is very high at the moment but we are buying food direct from the suppliers where possible and buying in bulk to help save as much money as possible and to spread our much-valued donations.

I am pleased to say we have now been donated enough money to complete the large animal pens at the hospital, but it will be several weeks before this is finished.

I apologise to those of you who we have not been able to help over the past week, I hate not being able to respond to calls for help but at this time every year we really struggle to find enough trained volunteers and funding – it’s quite depressing.

We have been responding to what we can, when we can.

A hedgehog was rescued after being found caught in fruit netting at Iford near Lewes, the hedgehog has a damaged leg and had fly eggs on the injured leg. The wounds and eggs have been treated and we hope the hedgehog will make a good recovery.

Volunteers Chris and Sylvia rushed to the aid of a baby fallow deer this week found caught in fencing at Argos Hill near Rotherfield. The landowner cut the deer free and carried it up to a warm stable where Chris and Sylvia collected the deer.

They were at first very concerned and worried but after a bit of cleaning and closer inspection the leg was found to be much better. There was no break in the skin but lots of bruising. She has been named Dottie. For the first week she has been knuckling one of her rear feet as a result of being caught but she is much improved with massaging and a special cream on the bruising. Dottie was quite underweight when rescued but luckily she started drinking quickly and is putting on weight nicely. She has bonded well with her new parents and we have displayed a number of photos on our Facebook page and there is video footage on our You Tube channel. She is not out of the woods yet, and we all have our fingers crossed for her. Amazingly it looks like fallow deer Button and Billie, rescued two years ago, are pregnant! We are all waiting patiently to see who is the first to give birth and bring their baby back to see foster parents Chris and Sylvia.

We have had a family of four baby hedgehogs come into care this week from Polegate. They were found calling and wandering around a garden, cold and wet.

They were picked up and taken to WRAS’s Casualty Care Centre where they were warmed up and initially given lectade to help rehydrate them before trying them on milk.

One of them was rather quiet and sadly passed away after 24 hours, one of them was very friendly and took to taking milk straight away, the other two were very huffy and we initially struggled with them.

Monica is doing extremely well with the other three which should grow up to make fine spiky adult hedgehogs.

The mum and baby hedgehogs rescued from Chalvington which I mentioned in last week’s column, are doing extremely well. The three babies and their mum are looking good and are certainly growing well. Mum really likes her mealworms and has made a great parent.

WRAS rescuers Val and Murrae came to the aid of Sussex Police late at night after they called for help after accidentally running over a cat at Hampden Park.

Although WRAS doesn’t normally deal with non-wildlife it was close to Val & Murrae who sprang into action and rushed the cat to the emergency vets at Bexhill. The cat, despite suffering some nasty injuries, appears to be making a full recovery.

We would like to thank everyone who came along to WRAS’s Volunteer Recruitment Days last week and those who attended our Treasure Hunt on Sunday.

We are extremely busy at this time of year and any financial support would be very much appreciated and very much needed, too.

• East Sussex WRAS is a voluntary organisation which relies on donations, receiving no funding from government or the RSPCA. Those wishing to make a donation should contact the treasurer at PO Box 2148, Seaford, BN25 9DE.

24-hour rescue line: 07815 078234