The heat of summer has continued without rest and so have the patients brought to Rosie making this year the busiest ever with nearly 800 injured animals treated so far and all sorts of orphans, in fact it seems like, you name it - Rosie's treated it.
The Anglia TV film crew are still filming at the Centre adding to their film stories of the many different cases that have been dealt with. This has created a heightened awareness of the excellent work carried out at 'Wildlives'.
This brings even more cases to be dealt with as well as enquiries asking for help looking after various species and recently a veterinary nurse representative of the League Against Cruel Sports requested help in writing up her papers to encourage vetinaries to take a greater interest in wildlife.
Following a check-up the consultant surgeon felt he had underestimated the extent of the break to her leg and he has inserted more screws and two extra fixator pins making a total of four attached to the external bar. Tilly seemed to be a lot more comfortable after this treatment but unfortunately started limping badly and the attachment points into her leg had become badly infected. She was then seen at the Veterinary Centre in West Mersea where the vet started her on a further course of antibiotics. Tilly has an appointment in Braintree next week to see her consultant orthopaedic surgeon in the hope that the infection will have cleared up and she can have the fixator bar removed.
More young hedgehogs are still being brought in to Rosie and her volunteers. One case in particular has a happy ending. Someone was clearing out their garage when they came across a hedgehog nest. The mother hog scampered away and the babies were gathered up talking care not to leave human scent on the babies. The garden was searched and soon the mother was found and re-united with the young family and all were taken to the Centre. Now there could be three possible outcomes:
1:The mother could ignore the young and not feed them.
2: The mother may become hostile to the young and eat them, or
3: The mother could accept her young back again if the environment was quiet and private. The family were found a suitable secure area within the grounds of the Centre and after unobtrusive observation, the mother was seen to be feeding her young - success! Another case of hedgehogs found in a garage that had to be locked for a long period finished in the mother eating her young before they arrived at the centre. The most important thing to remember is do not handle them with bare hands and if possible leave them where you find them, undisturbed until they are fully weaned in a few weeks.
A young female fox ran into a road at Long Melford to retrieve a dead pigeon but was hit by traffic. She was taken to the local veterinary practice still hanging onto her pigeon. She had a badly damaged toe which had to be amputated and she was then brought to 'Wildlives' in a pet carrier box. Her fear of confinement was rather obvious when Rosie opened the box to find it lined with excrement and as Rosie lifted her out by the scruff of her neck, the flailing legs managed to re-decorate the hospital walls! She was checked over and was given treatment for mange which was quite extensive.
After building her strength up and removing stitches she was released back to the area where she was found. This case was filmed for the programme.
The family of one of the volunteers found the injured owl by the roadside. The owl had been hit by traffic and one eye was seriously damaged. On investigation at a local vets it was found that the retina had a hole caused by the accident. A veterinary opthalmic surgeon was called in and he managed to close the hole by stitching the retina and the third eyelid was also stitched shut for protection. As I was being told of this case the owl was at the vets having the stitches removed. Again, this case has been filmed so far.
An official from the water board at Brightlingsea brought in a baby Barn Owl chick. It was found wandering around the sewage works apparently having fallen from the nest nearby. It was quite thin and weak but after a few days care and feeding it was deemed ready for return to its nest.
One evening, Rosie had a few hours off duty to go with David Wilkin from the Barn Owl Conservation network, the Manager of the Sewage works and the entire film crew to return the fledgling to its nest. On arrival, one of the parent birds flew off; the nest box was checked and a sibling was removed for weighing and checking.
Then both chicks were ringed and returned to the nest. (When a nest box is new, the entry hole is at a higher level than the floor but as the droppings build up inside, the floor level rises until it is level with the opening, the chicks move around and one surely gets pushed out.)
Finally a last check to see that both chicks were accepted and then back to the Centre. Everything was found to be back to normal making another interesting case for the Animal Tales programme showing at 7.30 on Thursdays on ITV.
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