TREVOR WEEKS: Foxes, badgers and swans take up most of our week

Its been a large animal week here at WRAS, with swans, badgers and foxes all being dealt with.

Sunday, 21st January 2018, 7:00 am
Updated Friday, 8th June 2018, 12:20 am
Cygnet rescue at Decoy Pond, Hampden Park SUS-180117-114816001

Rescuer Chris Riddington was just leaving for work when I had to ask him to advert to a road casualty fox running around in circles by the Pavilion tearooms on Eastbourne seafront.

The fox was showing clear neurological signs and was rushed to our casualty centre for treatment.

The fox still has a head tilt and being treated for an inner ear infection which is why the fox may have ended up being hit by a car in the first place.

A tawny owl came to WRAS just over a week ago via Bexhill Wildlife Rescue. They were worried about one of its legs and asked us to take it on.

On admission the owl was assessed and a nasty fractured leg was found. It was wrapped and splinted and booked for an X-ray the following morning.

X-rays revealed a nasty displaced fracture of the tibiotarsus bone.

Sadly the fracture was beyond a simple splint and he was taken to Henley House Vets for further advice.

It was agreed for the owl to get the best chance of treatment that we should refer to specialists in this kind of treatment.

Henley House gave the owl an assessment and made sure he was fit to travel and there wasn’t anything else underlying.

Casualty manager Chris spoke to Caroline Gould at Vale Wildlife Rescue in Gloucestershire and discussed our vets findings and shared X-rays.

Caroline spoke to her vet Tim Partridge BVSc, MRCVS, who agreed it was worth a try. So on Wednesday rescuer Tony drove the seven-hour round trip to deliver the owl to Vale.

The owl was settled and prepared for its operation the following day.

Thursday Tim and his team carried out a very difficult operation to put the bone back in place using external fixation.

The owl is not out of the woods yet and has long path of recovery to go.

We have everything crossed for him here.

It is amazing to see what can be achieved when everyone works together.

Rescuers Chris and Olli have attended a badger in Herstmonceux.

It was spotted by members of the public whilst out walking, the badger was very unresponsive so WRAS were called. The badger was contained and taken back to our hospital where our vet was contacted.

Chris took the badger’s temperature and he was found to be suffering from hypothermia and very dehydrated.

He medicated and gently warmed up but sadly passed away the following day.

Kathy and I rushed out to a road casualty badger in Uckfield late on Monday evening after it was hit on Snatts Lane.

Despite being on site very quickly the poor badger did not survive.

It had nasty internal injuries and could not be saved.

Within minutes we were then called out to a pigeon outside the Freedom Leisure Centre in Uckfield.

The juvenile pigeon was on the ground disorientated, and not too difficult to catch. I took him home for the night and bedded him down at our casualty centre the following morning.

Last week we received numerous calls about the cygnets at Decoy Pond, Hampden Park.

Our casualty manager Katie Nunn Nash attended on site we took the decision to catch three of the cygnets.

As normally happens at this time of year cygnets are chased off by their parents.

However at parks like this, due to the plentiful supply of food, the cygnets are reluctant to leave.

This results in the parents getting more and more aggressive.

WRAS has been regularly visiting the site on this occasion decided that three of the cygnets needed to be rescued.

As it was getting dark they were taken back to WRAS’s casualty centre where they are being given a health check as they are lighter in weight than we would like.

One remaining cygnet was initially left as he seemed to be standing up to his dad and giving as good as he received.

However the following morning the cygnet was suffering from dad’s undivided attention and being pushed up to the road so this one being more healthy was relocated to Princes Park to the non-territorial flock of swans.

We were not happy with the condition of one of the three cygnets so sent all three up to the Swan Sanctuary where sadly one of the died.

Their vet undertook an examination which revealed the cygnet had been suffering from nasty pneumonia, a long standing infection, infected air sacs, lymph nodes inflamed and the spleen enlarged.

The other two are doing well.