Happy New Year everyone. I hope you have enjoyed the 2017 review over the past few weeks, whilst I’ve taken a break.
Christmas and New Year have not been the busiest of festive season for us, but still plenty to do and plenty of rescues.
The most dramatic rescue of the festive period was that of a fallow buck entangled in electric rope at Buxted. Christmas Day at 9am the rescue line rang, and I had to call out rescuers Chris Riddington and Laura Carrick on their day off to help Kathy and I who were on duty at the casualty centre.
The deer turned out to be in the same field and fence line as the last one we rescued back in November. The deer was much weaker and more tired and only just about managed to jump the fence as it ran off once we had cut it free.
This is not the only deer we have dealt with since Christmas either.
Only this week we received several phone calls about a small deer curled up in the gutter of the A22 just up from our casualty centre south of East Hoathly. People were saying it was only a fawn because of how small it was. We were rather perplexed initially by the size and description, but it turned out to be a adult female muntjac deer.
They are quite small compared to fallow and roe deer. I’ve never seen one locally to our centre before. I stopped the traffic whilst I approached and caught the deer and carried her to the back of my ambulance. Within minutes I was back at our casualty centre on the phone to our vets.
At first the deer just appeared stunned. We sedated the deer so an x-ray could be taken which unfortunately revealed the femur to be smashed to pieces and the pelvis fractured too. After specialist veterinary advice it was decided the injuries were too severe and that amputation and pinning the leg was out of the question. Sadly we had to put the deer to sleep.
As some of you may have seen, Chris and I have had a white Christmas! A couple of our volunteers said they would donate £50 each if Chris bleached his hair. They then tried to get me to do the same and I said it would need to be more than £1,000. As Chris was having his done four days later, I thought they would never raise the money in that time, but after setting up a Just Giving Page they eventually raised £1,190 for WRAS! So I had no choice but to join in and let WRAS volunteer Terrie bleach my hair! So my apologises for the shock a few people have had when I’ve turned up at rescues recently!
We have had a few late night calls recently including one to Brighton.
Gone midnight I received a call about a fox which had fallen into a basement on a house in Upper North Street. The fox had fallen about 15ft down into a basement and as I opened the patio door, the fox then jumped down into a lower area another 5ft down. Of course as I tried to get down to the lower section the fox jumps up onto the main basement area! I was then able to corner the fox and use a dog grasper to control the fox and safely move the fox into a cage.
That was no easy rescue on my own and I really wish I had taken someone with me. I gave the fox a check over and it was clearly not injured as a result of its fall. I was then shown up stairs to a garden at the back of the house which backed onto a park. I was able to release the fox and let it run off out the garden unharmed, finally returning home about 3am.
I also had an early morning call out to a road casualty gull found in Observatory View, Hailsham, at 2am on Saturday morning. The kind people who found the gull picked him up and got him safe and waited till I arrived, which was a big help.
Kathy was hoping for a few weeks without any young pigeons or dove, but no chance!
She has already had three young nestling doves come in from different locations, and we even has some young pigeons admitted to the casualty centre too. It just shows that with the milder winters some birds are nesting for longer.
Other calls have also been to a gull with a severely broken wing at the Fisherman’s Green on Eastbourne seafront, a road casualty wood pigeon at Ringles Cross Uckfield, a crashed swan wandering along Faversham road Langney, a starling trapped in a loft in Uckfield, an injured moorhen in a garden in Eastbourne, a mouse in a shoe box in a shop in Uckfield and a road casualty pheasant on the A22 near Golden Cross.
There has also been a lovely firecrest from Eastbourne, a woodpecker from Bexhill, a hedgehog from Cooksbridge and an injured fox in Langney to name just a few.