A frustrating 45 minute rescue ended in success tonight after a hedgehog became wedged in a clay drain pipe in a parking area at the end of Spring Lodge Close, Langney, Eastbourne. Rescuers from East Sussex Wildlife Rescue and Ambulance Service (WRAS) were called out by a local resident who discovered the hedgehog.
Trevor Weeks and Kathy Martyn from East Sussex WRAS attended on site for 45 minutes trying to help the hedgehog free. "It was very frustrating as the drain was quite small and the hedgehog was quite a tight fit. Numerous times we thought we were getting somewhere and we would loose our leverage on the hedgehog" said WRAS founder Trevor Weeks.
Rescuers ended up using a dog grasper which is a pole with a loop at one end normally used by rescuers for catching and securing badgers and foxes. "Trevor managed to slide the wire loop down one side of the hedgehog's body and slowly work it under and round the hedgehogs. Several times it slipped out of place and we had to start again, but eventually it worked and slowly the hedgehogs came free" said rescuer Kathy Martyn from Uckfield.
WRAS is urging people to keep an eye out for uncovered drain holes and to put covers in place to ensure hedgehogs can't get stuck. WRAS will also be contacting the Environment Agency and the local council because of the smell of oil which also come from the drain. "This rescue covers two major concerns of WRAS, uncovered drains which pose a major problems for hedgehogs as well as oil and chemical pollution which causes a lot of suffering to wildlife. We urge people not to ignore these issue and say 'its not my problem' but to take responsibility and get something done about it if they see a problem" said Trevor.
The hedgehog was taken to WRAS new Casualty Care Centre at Whitesmith where it was medicated and given a bath before being bedded down and given a hearty dinner of Whiskers cat food. WRAS Hedgehogs Carer Monica Russell from Eastbourne will be taking the hedgehog home on Thursday to ensure it is given close monitoring and observation.
"Hedgehogs are on the decline and we really need to look after those we have left so please check your gardens and ensure there is no discarded netting, no open tin or pots of chemicals which they could drink from, ensure there are no open drain holes which they could climb down and check your bonfires before lighting them to ensure there are no hedgehogs inside. If you own a cattle grid or a garden pond place a ramp inside so hedgehogs can climb out if they fall in." said Trevor.
"Hedgehogs are wonderful creatures and each one is so different. They have amazing mannerisms and behaviour and are a joy to watch in the wild. Please help save these marvelous creatures" said Trevor.
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Press Contacts: Trevor Weeks, East Sussex WRAS, 07931 523958
Monica Russell, 07985 474749