TREVOR WEEKS: A tale of two swans - and a close call for fox cub

Easter sees wildlife rescue organisations up and down the country starting to get busier and busier.

Saturday, 7th April 2018, 8:00 am
Updated Friday, 8th June 2018, 12:33 am
Two swans from Eastbourne SUS-180304-163428001

Hundreds of thousands of casualties will occur this spring and summer and be dealt with by such organisations like East Sussex WRAS.

They are only small organisations and funding is always tight. So please make a donation this Easter and help us relieve the suffering of thousands of wild creatures.

Easter Monday saw two swans rescued by the Lottbridge Drove/Seaside Roundabout.

Thank you to Companion Care Vets and Sussex Police for keeping them safe till our ambulance arrived.

One has a damaged leg but the other seems fine.

They seem to be a pair and are very loving towards each other so they are keeping each other company till the one with the injured leg has recovered.

Last week’s swan from Langney pond has been released again too.

I rushed to a hedgehog which had been attacked by a dog in Buxted. The owners have never seen a hedgehog in their garden before and were so upset.

Despite arriving within 15 minutes of being called the poor creature had already died. The finder are now going to keep their dogs on a lead at night and look at getting some hedgehog houses.

Hedgehogs coming out of hibernation can be a bit slow to react so if you have a dog please be careful at night when letting your dog out after dark.

We have our second fox cub in. A cheeky little cub has come in from Southwater Road, St Leonard’s.

Although the den was easily found and mum was nearby, the cub’s behaviour was bothering rescuer Chris.

Chris rushed the cub back to WRAS’s Casualty Centre but it was becoming clear that the young cub was have difficulty swallowing and was constantly pawing at her mouth.

Chris checked her airway and found her tongue was double its normal size and was starting to block the throat. WRAS’s vet Mike was immediately contacted and emergency treatment to reduce the swelling was commenced.

Luckily the swelling quickly reduced and she has begun to act more cub like! This was certainly a close call for the cub.

We rushed to the Beachlands Estate at Pevensey Bay twice on Friday last week.

The first call was to a fox inside a studio, struggling. The second was to a rook under a hedge unable to fly.

The fox was rushed to WRAS’s casualty centre where WRAS’s vets were consulted and emergency medication given.

Unfortunately the fox was suffering from very severe mastitis which had turned into an infection and unfortunately the animal was going into toxic shock so had to be put to sleep.

The rook was found to be very underweight and an old injury to its cheek. He is doing well and on the road to recovery.

We also had a fox collapsed in a garden in Willingdon Park Drive.

Unfortunately this fox was also in a critical condition and the pupils fully dilated and not reacting to light.

So the fox was rushed up to Henley House Vets in Uckfield where vet Claire saw the fox as an emergency.

There was hyper extension of the fore and hind limbs and she felt the infection had taken too much control of the fox.

To say the least rescuers were gutted that the fox had to be euthanased, so disappointing to see such a healthy looking fox having to be put to sleep.

Having any casualty put to sleep is never an easy decision, and not one anyone within WRAS takes lightly. It is also never a single person’s decision, to ensure the right decision is always taken.

It’s not something you ever get used to, you just learn to hide your emotions better.

Very sad but still a successful outcome in preventing further suffering of the poor fox.

A badger has also been admitted from Hartfield with territorial bite wounds to his rump. He is now bedded down in one of our indoor enclosures.

WRAS vet Simon came down and sedated the badger so it could be better checked. The wound on the badger’s rump was thoroughly cleaned and looks better already.

Although these wounds look nasty they generally recover really well.

Just after 11pm Friday night WRAS were called out to a bird which had fallen to the bottom of a chimney in The Drive Uckfield.

I attended on site and removed the electric fire revealing an adult wood pigeon.

The bird was lively and healthy and due to the street lighting in the area, the bird was released rather than keep him in overnight, which would be quite stressful for such a bird.