Persecutors and Escapes Drag Snare
|Wildlives has admitted an
unprecedented number of foxes this year. Spirit was found by a lady walking her
dog: he had a drag snare caught through his mouth, causing extensive injury.
Despite the awful state of his mouth and jaw however, he has been one of the
loudest and most uppity of Wildlives' boarders. His wounds have healed well,
and he is now fit and ready for release. However, given the circumstances of
his admission, he cannot simply be taken back to where he was found. Instead,
he will be transferred to the Fox Project in Kent, and that organisation will
take on the job of finding a suitable release site and introducing him there.
This will be no mean feat: foxes are at their most aggressive right now,
marking out their territories in preparation for the breeding season. Thus,
wherever Spirit is released, there will be other foxes that try to drive him
off. In addition, there is a lonely vixen somewhere who has lost her mate. She
will be in trouble when she has cubs, as she will have no partner to go hunting
for food. Another displaced fox was Firefly. Rentokill was hired to remove him
and they sent him to a veterinary surgeon to be put to sleep. Luckily, the vet
was more conscientious and had him transferred to Wildlives. Like Spirit
though, Firefly is likely to have difficulty establishing himself on a new
territory at this time of the year.
Precious Little Fur
|Rangers from a local park became concerned
after several people reported having seen a sick fox in the area. Wildlives
loaned them its cage trap and the fox was brought in. Precious, as she was
named, had mange, and had lost just about all her fur. She also had a large
abscess and numerous smaller wounds where she had chewed herself to relieve the
itching. It is strange to note that, although a fully-grown fox, without her
fur she is about the same size as a cat. Precious is responding well to
treatment and we are now waiting for her fur to make an appearance.
should still be hibernating, but Wildlives continues to admit underweight hogs.
Please keep your eyes open for them. A report on hedgehogs by Dr Paul Bright,
is due to be published later this year, investigating the declining numbers in
the UK. Chief among the causes is likely to be the obliteration of nesting and
feeding sites as people abandon lawns and hedges in favour of patios and
|A big thank you
to volunteer Lisa Ray, who recently did a talk on Wildlives and the work
carried out here, to over 700 pupils at Brightlingsea primary school.
|Wildlives has admitted
another poisoned fox. She clung on for five days, before we lost her. During
the process of caring for her, she acquired the name Miracle, and although the
miracle we hoped for did not materialise, she was a beautiful fox and the name
stuck. Miracle was picked up in the same area as one of the other cases of
confirmed poisoning that Wildlives has dealt with and a Wildlife Management
Advisor from DEFRA has recently visited the Centre to begin investigations and
find those responsible. If you find any animals that you suspect have been
poisoned by pesticides or if you witness any pesticide spillages or see any
poisonous bait, please do report it. DEFRA depends on information from members
of the public in order to assess and regulate the use of poisons. They run a
24-hour freephone service on 0800 321 600.
|The Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981
and Countryside Act 1981 provides that all snares must be checked every 24
hours. This is to ensure that trapped animals are not left to suffer for long
periods. A drag snare is a snare that is not fixed down, so when an animal gets
caught up in it, it crawls away and hides with the snare still attached, and
dies a slow, painful death. Thus, drag snares are contrary to the spirit, if
not to the letter of the law.
All content © Wildlives Wildlife Rescue and
|Newsletter Editor: Ruth