East Sussex Wildlife Rescue & Ambulance Service (WRAS) has had its first fox cubs of 2020 admitted into care.
WRAS received a call from a gentleman in Upperton Gardens Eastbourne just after 1pm yesterday (Monday 9th March 2020) after he found what he thought were rats in a derelict garage.
Rescuers Ollie Long and Julie Stafford were sent to the site to assess the situation. “We were quite surprised when we were shown them, as we were expecting rats, not fox cubs” said Ollie.
Rescuers were shown the garage which was very derelict and quite packed full. “We drove these three to WRAS’s Casualty Centre as they were very young and there was a possibility that the cat may have played with them, so we needed to get them checking over” said Julie.
At WRAS’s Casualty Centre Lead Casualty Manager Katie Nunn Nash checked them over and was concerned about their condition, one was very small in comparison to the other two and none of them were in a brilliant condition. “Their stomachs were very tight as if they might have a heavy parasite burden, and they weren’t the strongest of babies either, so we decided to keep them in and send the rescuers back down to check thoroughly for any more and to see what condition they were in” said Katie.
“The nest was in the back of a garage underneath an old mattress. It was difficult to get in there and we had to move a number of items in order to get in. I tried getting under the mattress and could see a 4th cub, but couldn’t reach it so had to climb over some old furniture and scrap wood in order to reach down and pick up the cub. I couldn’t see any others” said Ollie.
If the cubs were fit and healthy WRAS would normally attempt to reunite them with their mum but due to their condition it was decided to keep them in.
Back at WRAS’s Casualty Centre the fourth cub joined his siblings, but was also not in the best of health. Katie spent some time warming them up and getting a special milk formula into them. “They are only a few days old and their eyes are not open yet. We have two girls and two boys. We are keeping our fingers crossed that they improve and go from strength to strength” said Katie who took them home with her to ensure they were feed and monitored closely overnight.
The next few months are going to get busy at WRAS and the charities staff and volunteers are already gearing up for the workload. WRAS is currently recruiting seasonal volunteers to help with orphan rearing and rescuer shifts through the spring and summer. Anyone interested should visit their website at www.wildlifeambulance.org for more information.