Rescuers rushed to Hastings yesterday afternoon after receiving a call via Bexhill & Hastings Wildlife Rescue. A duck has been spotted trapped in a floating mesh planter island in the middle of Shornden Reservoir in Alexandra Park.
East Sussex WRAS Technical Rescue Ambulance attended on site along with Senior Rescue Keith Ring, and Duty Rescuers Sandra Furner and Kelly Wilkins.
Due to the low level of the water it was going to be difficult to safely launch our boat so rescuer Keith using a rescue dry suit, buoyancy aid and safety rope swam out to the island to deal with the rescue. It was unclear how the duck was caught and at first it looked like the wire mesh of the planter would need to be cut. It soon became clear that the netting across the top was damaged and the duck had managed to get beneath this and got himself trapped. Trying to work at water level was not easy whilst trying to reach over the top, but eventually the duck was freed.
Once back on dry land, rescues noticed that the duck was not settling nor leaving the enclosed water area, so to ensure it could try out and warm up on land they returned with a net to encourage the bird into the vegetation for safely.
The wildlife of East Sussex is facing a crisis, with places like Rogers Wildlife Rescue now permanently closed, and others either temporarily closed or operating at a reduced service. Even the national RSPCA no longer operates a 24 hour rescue service for wildlife. East Sussex WRAS is trying to pick up the pieces and is admitting casualties from various local organisations trying to help the best it can and doing so free of charge.
This is all costing extra money, and we are also running out of space. WRAS need to build a new rescue centre and expand to help prevent casualties ending up at local vets and stopping them being euthanised or being taken home by well-meaning members of the public where they could end up suffering, being treated inappropriately, not receive suitable veterinary treatment or become domesticated or suffer mentally.
WRAS have an amazing team and the charity is well established and stands the best chance of setting up a sustainable rescue centre able to help all local wildlife eventually once complete, but we need the public's help. There are few grants and funds available for wildlife rescue groups in comparison to conservation groups, so we have to work twice as hard to raise funds, so we need the public to get behind us and help make this new hospital a reality.
Please donate to our Wildlife Crisis Appeal at: https://www.justgiving.com/campaign/e...
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