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Thursday, 26 September 2019

Caring for hedgehogs

We have had a lot of people contacting us to ask how best to look after hedgehogs in the wild so I thought I would do a post all about it. First of all, in you have hedgehogs in your garden, you are incredibly lucky! The number of hedgehogs in the wild is decreasing drastically. 

Below are some key ways in which you can help out our hedgehogs. 

  • Leave a shallow dish of water for the wildlife in your garden and some food. For hedgehogs specifically, you can get specialist hedgehog food, wet cat and dog food and cat biscuits.
  • Don't use slug pellets and other pesticide in your garden as they can directly harm the hedgehogs as well as their food source. There are plenty of organic methods you can use instead. 
  • Keep a part of your garden 'wild' for the use of wild animals. This means that hedgehogs can stay in your garden without being disturbed. To help with this, you can also get a hedgehog house so they have somewhere warm and safe that they can get into. Having a wild patch in your garden helps all wild animals and bugs so is defiantly worth it.
  • Check your garden for wildlife before you mow the lawn or use a strimmer. We have seen many hedgehogs that have been caught by the strimmer as they are hiding in a hedge, please try to stop this from happening.
  • Please check bonfires before lighting them as hedgehogs love to hide in them.
  • Dispose of litter responsibility as hedgehogs and other types of wildlife can be seriously harmed or die due to getting caught up in rubbish.
  • Make sure that there are sloping edges in ponds in your garden so all wildlife, especially hedgehogs, can get out easily to avoid drowning.
  • Be careful when driving. So many wildlife die on our roads. The animals were there before the roads. We have made roads through THEIR home, so we need to make sure animals are respected and taken care of, not killed.
If you would like anymore information or find a hedgehog in need, please contact us. You can find our contact details here.

Thursday, 5 September 2019

Feed our wild birds!


Most of you would know about the warnings going around about not feeding ducks bread but this means that they aren’t getting the food at all and are starving to death. It isn’t only the ducks that get the bread but also swans, geese and pigeons. This little guy came into us yesterday. That is his breast bone sticking out, he is literally skin and bone. We have had so many birds brought in who are starving to death recently. The problem isn’t feeding birds bread, it is over feeding them as when it sinks to the bottom of the river bacteria which causes botulism is made. In the long run this can cause birds to die. Please feed our wild birds. If you have nothing else but bread, that is fine. The problem is overfeeding it to them.




However, bread is the equiverrliant to bird junk food. There are other things that you can easily buy to feed birds. The list below is only some of the food that you can feed birds such as ducks, swans and pigeons which are much better for them than bread.
  • Corn
  • Seeds
  • Peas
  • Sweatcorn
  • Oats 
  • Kale 
  • Broccoli
  • Rice
  • Grapes that have been cut up
  • lettuce 
  • vegetable scraps
There are many more food types which you can feed birds if you have a quick look on google. You can also get specific food for ducks and swans. 

Please remember that bread should only be used as a last resort.

Different birds have different dietary requirements, if you have a specific type of bird you are feeding and want to find out what you can feed them then feel free to contact us. Google has some great advice too so always use different pages as research as many will have different opinions on the best food. By looking at more than one page it means that you are able to make an informed decision yourself on what to feed them.

If you would like any more information on anything please contact us. 

Jenny Wackett- 07956 300 290
Emma Wackett- 07854 833 706
Email- walthamabbeywildliferescue@gmail.com

Reduce plastic use!

This is an ongoing blog post and will be updated 

Recently I have shared the story of the starling that got caught up in plastic netting, if you missed it here is the link: Plastic Netting Warning

Unfortunately, this is not a one off case and so many animals around the world are not as luck as this starling was.

Whilst plastic netting causes the most trouble for the animals that get brought to us, plastic is harming animals all over the world. It has become so much easier to find alternative to plastic so I thought it would be a good idea to share some links for some inspiration. We know how hard it is to give up all plastic so start off by taking small steps and just be mindful of what you are going to do with any plastic items once you have finished with them. Reuse and Recycle where ever possible. 

Information and News Stories
https://www.nationalgeographic.com/magazine/2018/06/plastic-planet-animals-wildlife-impact-waste-pollution/

Shops
LUSH UK- https://uk.lush.com/ 
Earth Conscious- https://www.earthconscious.co.uk/
The Plastic Free Shop- https://www.theplasticfreeshop.co.uk/
Zero Waste Club- https://www.zero-waste-club.com/

Social Media Pages
Me living Plastic Free- https://www.instagram.com/me_living_plastic_free/?hl=en
Love Eco- https://www.instagram.com/_love_eco_/?hl=en

Wednesday, 6 March 2019

School Deer Rescue

Last year we got a callout from a local school asking us for some help with a young deer who had got stuck in between some old iron railings. It was a Monday so as far as they were aware, the deer could have been there all weekend. They had called the fire brigade as well to help cut her out. By the time we got there, the railings had been cut and she was just sitting there with the top of her back legs still tucked under the metal. It was clear she had been there for a very long time, she had actually managed to drag herself and the railings across the floor in a bid to escape. From looking at her and the surrounding landscape we guessed that her mother had run past the railings and instead of running around them the young deer thought she could fit through the gap and got caught halfway through.

With help from the fire crew we managed to get her back legs from under the metal and then we were able to then look at her injuries. With the position she had managed to get herself in, she had come out of it fairly well. She had friction burns and bruising to her side and back legs where she had struggled and the odd scratch here and there but it could have been much worse. The school had given us some water for her because she was clearly very dehydrated as she had been there for a long time whilst the fire crew called around for a vet, few minutes later she got up and ran but in the wrong direction. She was still to weak to look after herself and there was a high chance of her running back through the railings again to try and reach her mother and getting stuck again. Again, with help from the fire crew we managed to carry her back through the undergrowth and to the correct side of the railings again. They then used the thermo imaging camera to see if the mother was in the surrounding area still but there was no luck. When the vet turned up they decided to take her in to be put on a drip to help her overcome the dehydration and to give her painkillers for the bruising, and then see how she is in the morning. 

Unfortunately, she didn't make it. Whilst her injuries were not life threating, the shock was. It is one of the biggest killers of wildlife and its something that cant be treated. Although the outcome was not as we would have liked, we were happy that we had managed to help her otherwise she would have suffered a great deal more. We have to say a huge thank you to the school for helping us and of course the fire crew who attended for going above and beyond to try and help the deer, we defiantly wouldn't have been able to do it without you!

Wednesday, 27 February 2019

Playtime went too far!

Leo was one of the foxes that we had as cubs and was best friends with one of our rescue cats, Dusty. They went crazy running up and down the stairs, jumping on our beds and working together to steal our food on a daily basis but I will never forget the day that cocktail sausages came to the rescue... and neither will the chickens! Like normal they were jumping on the bed and running everywhere when Dusty decided it was a good idea to jump out the upstairs window onto the roof below and Leo followed. This in itself wasn’t the problem, however, the chickens were out! No matter what we done, we couldn’t get Leo to come back in. Instead, he sat on the roof watching intently as the chickens pecked away at the grass. Then we came up with the best idea… sausages! He absolutely loved cocktail sausages so we started throwing them out the window. Eventually he jumped inside and stole the entire container. It took us a while to get our heart rate back to normal as Leo tucked into his midday snack. The window was kept shut from then on in. We always had them the fridge in case of other emergencies after that day. We have found that foxes prefer processed meat to fresh, just like us with fast food really I suppose. 



Wednesday, 20 February 2019

Esther

Esther was one of the kindest foxes you could ever meet. She came to us in August 2018 and, from the information that the lady who's garden she was in gave us, we think she was either 9 or 10 years old and had 8 or 9 lots of cubs which is an incredible amount. However, the last litter very nearly killed her because of her age. When we got her she went straight to the vets because she was very weak. The vet told us that she had enlarged Kidneys but for now she was okay to live with us as she was not in pain and was still relatively healthy for a fox of her age. We didn’t know how long we were going to have her, it could have been weeks or months so we made the decision to give her whatever food she wanted, her favourite was Deli cooked chicken (excluding cooked bones of course). We are so glad we had her for the 3 months but wish enormously that it could have been longer as on 7th November 2018 she had to be put to sleep due to her Kidneys getting worse. She was such a sweet fox who got on with everyone. She was incredibly friendly for an adult fox and got on well with Amber, another fox that we have at the moment, and even our deer, Willow. She stole our heart and we will miss her greatly. Whilst it is very sad, this is part of what we do. Sometimes there is nothing else to do other than wait but in the meantime we always aim to make the remaining part of an animal’s life, however long or short that made be, the best time possible and when the time comes for them, we are always there until the end.




Wednesday, 13 February 2019

Care Home Polly

During the summer holidays around 8 years ago we were told about a Peahen lose within a housing estate for the elderly. Whist most of the residents loved her, one person had complained to the council and they said they were going to put her to sleep. It was a race against time to catch her. We went there day after day, week after week to try and get her but at the time we didn't have much equipment that was suitable so we had to improvise. We got a bed sheet and sown a rock into each corner. The idea was that we would throw it over her and the rocks would weigh it down long enough to grab hold, one thing we learned… Peahens are heavy (heaver than four rocks anyway). We managed to borrow a very large net form another animal rescue eventually, I have no idea what people walking past us must have thought when they saw a lady with two children walk past with a bed sheet with rocks in it and a huge net! This was a full time project for us and we were determined to save her. So much so that any friends that were around also got the treat of helping us. They were use to it, they have all told me that they have lost count of the amount of injured animals that we have picked up on what was a seemly ‘normal’ day out. Trying to get her became a daily routine, get up and dressed, feed and clean out the animals and then walk up. The residents were so kind to us and helped any way they could. On the very last day of the summer holidays, we managed it! The most unbelievable part being we got her with the bed sheet! At the time we didn't have the car and Jack was still in the pram so if you were thinking it must have been weird seeing a lady carrying a net and bed sheet walking down the road, imagine seeing a lady walk through the town with a Peahen in a pram wrapped up in a bed sheet and carrying a large net with her two children hand in hand following her asking to go in the shop to buy sweets. Because we were so young, me and Jack wasn't very imaginative at coming up with names, nor was it likely that we would ever agree on what to call an animal but in the end we came up with the most predictable name possible, Polly. We were so proud! She stayed with us for years and became part of the family. The residents asked for updates and they said life was never the same again but everyone was happy that she had survived the council. I have to say that the ‘what you did in your holidays’ homework that year was one that the teacher will never forget!