Shot Buzzard Released

A buzzard which was found grounded near Chelwood Gate with injuries after being shot has now been released back into the wild.

On 25th July 2023 rescuers from East Sussex Wildlife Rescue & Ambulance Service (WRAS) were called out to reports of an injured buzzard in a field off Birch Grove Road near Chelwood Gate.  The buzzard couldn’t fly and was not using one leg properly.

On admission to WRAS’s Casualty Centre near Lewes, X-rays revealed the bird had been shot. Two pieces of shot were found, one lodged by a fracture in the wing and another piece of shot lodged in the leg.

The pellets were in suitable locations to be removed and the wounds cleaned and treated in addition to pain relief and antibiotics being given.

After almost a month in care, and the wounds and fracture healed, WRAS’s veterinary surgeon gave the all clear for the bird to be released. “The buzzard was flying strongly in our test pen and had the right attitude to be released, we are really pleased with how well he has recovered” said Lead Casualty Manager Katie Nunn Nash.

Rescuers took the bird back to the area where found and released the bird. “It was an amazing release. As soon as the bird took off a second buzzard appeared out of the trees nearby. They were soon calling to each other” said WRAS rescuer Jan McCord.

East Sussex WRAS founder and Operations Director Trevor Weeks MBE said “Shooting and injuring any wild animal or bird is generally an offence unless they are dispatched swiftly after injury. We regularly see wildlife coming into our centre after being shot and not killed out right – swans, badgers, foxes, gulls and many more.  People need to realise that we share this planet with other living creatures. I know some wild animals and birds can be a nuisance at times, but we need remember we share this planet with billions of other living creatures and we need to be more respectful and find a way to co-exist.  Humans cause a lot of death, suffering and destruction not just to fellow humans but to wildlife and to our planet. The sooner we learn to live peacefully, with each other, the better chance we have of saving the planet. I am so pleased that our dedicated staff and volunteers have been able to save this magnificent creature and return it to the wild.”

East Sussex WRAS was established as a voluntary group in 1996 and has grown into an award winning community charity which is reliant on donation and support from local business and individuals to help keep its service on the road.  If you can make a donation please visit or call 01825-873003.

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