A hedgehog almost died in Eastbourne after being caught in a four pack plastic can holder, but after being anaesthetised five times by vets, and looked after by a local wildlife charity the hedgehog named "Marciana" is now being returned to the wild.
On Bonfire Night East Sussex Wildlife Rescue & Ambulance Service (WRAS) was called out to Park Ave in Eastbourne to rescue a hedgehog after being found with its head and front legs through one of the rings of four pack holder. The plastic was so tight that it had dug into the hedgehog's body almost 75% of the way round the poor creature's body. "Rescuer Tony Neads cut the plastic from the hedgehog which was in a desperate state, clearly in a lot of pain and discomfort, after triaging the casualty it was rushed to the out of hours emergency vets due to the infection and severe damage. It was clear the hedgehog had been caught for several days and if left for much longer she would have died" explained WRAS founder Trevor Weeks MBE.
Out of hours emergency vets anaesthetised the hedgehog and cleaned up the wounds checking for fly eggs and maggots and made the hedgehog comfortable before passing her back to WRAS for aftercare.
WRAS's vets at the Henley House Vet Centre in Uckfield then helped support WRAS in the hedgehog's care over the following month, which involved having to anaesthetise the hedgehog another four times to clean, stitch, and eventually remove the stitches after the wound healed.
Volunteers from East Sussex WRAS took care of the casualty at their Casualty Care Centre at Whitesmith located between Hailsham, Uckfield and Lewes. "We decided to name her Marciana after Saint Marciana whose patronage is invoked to cure wounds. As hedgehogs only have short legs and curl up in a ball, it makes caring for them a lot harder than most other mammals. The wound going round her body could easily become infected, and unlike other mammals, we could not just wash the wounds out ourselves to keep them clean, so we needed additional help from our vets. One section of wounds was so deep that it needed to be stitched to help her recover. In total this hedgehog has cost WRAS over £350 in veterinary fees, medication, food and care, but has been so worth it" said Trevor.
Exactly a month after being admitted Marciana has been placed in an outside pen where she is now being soft released back to the wild. "As it is winter and she has been in for a month, we can't just release her so we are releasing her with a hedgehog house to ensure she has a safe place to hibernate using a soft release pen" said Trevor, "I'm so proud of our team, the volunteers, staff and vets who pull together to help our local wildlife which have no one to look after them. Luckily they do have WRAS. We receive over 3000 calls for help every year and we struggle to cope with the workload so if anyone is able to help make a donation to help support our valuable life saving work it would be very much appreciated."
Donations to East Sussex WRAS can be made online, by posting to East Sussex WRAS, PO Box 2148, Seaford, BN25 9DE or by phone on 01825 873003.
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Trevor Weeks MBE (East Sussex WRAS) - 007931 523958