A newborn red deer calf, found abandoned by the side of the road, is set to make a full recovery later this year thanks to the animal care specialists at Secret World Wildlife Rescue in East Huntspill, Somerset.
The deer was found collapsed and crying for its mother at the side of a road between Badgers Holt and Wheddon Cross in Somerset by a vigilant member of the public.
Animal carers at Secret World Wildlife Rescue in Somerset found out that caring for wildlife is not always glamorous after rescuing a buzzard which became trapped in a sewage pit. Laura Benfield and Jade Robuffo, both resident animal carers at the charity, drew the short straw and were tasked with giving the bird a thorough wash.
This week has seen a special visitor to Secret World in the form of a water vole. It was exciting for us, as these rare creatures are seen in decreasing numbers due to habitat degradation. This lucky Vole, who we have called Walter, had found himself washed out to sea. Incredibly, he managed to find his way back to shore. Having been given a full check over and some rest in his very own swimming pool, Walter has now been released back in to the wild. We were sad to see him go, but glad that he has been given a second chance back in his natural habitat.
On a slightly less pleasant note, a buzzard was brought in by our response driver Cindy after getting stuck in a slurry pit at West Hunstspill Sewage Treatment Works. The very smelly bird was given a wash straight away! Once he was dry and feeding he was placed in an aviary exclusion pen to be given the best chance of recovery and to build up muscle. He is now looking majestic and is set to be released soon. Laura Benfield, who is our head of animal care, said “It is likely that the buzzard was after a small mammal running over the crust of the effluent material, but his weight made him sink in and he was unable to get out”.
Have you been following our work and wondered how you could help us? One way is by becoming a volunteer response driver. This crucial and exciting role is a vital link in the chain of getting sick and injured animals the help they need. We need people to pick up injured animals and bring them to us, and also to assist in releasing animals once they have recovered. You can put your name down for hours to suit your availability. If this sounds like something you are interested in then you can find out more on the volunteer section of the website.
There were lots of smiles (and a few scared faces – mostly from the parents) onsite this week as we held our first Wild and Deadly Wednesday of the Summer! Nick Wadham hosted his special Wild and Deadly show, where he showcased a variety of creepy crawlies. A particular highlight (for the kids at least) was when they got to nominate their parents to hold the tarantula! We also ran some great craft activities, and visitors had the chance to see our resident animals, including the birds of prey, foxes and badgers. If you missed it, and think that this sounds right up your street, come along on the 15th or 22nd August, 12 – 4pm. It’s £4 for adults and £2 for children, and promises to be a fun afternoon out for all ages!
At the moment we have 3 lovely fawns onsite: Sweetpea, Daffodil and Jasmin, who are being looked after in our fawn paddock. Sweetpea is a red deer, who was found at the side of the road. She had stomach problems and animal carers were concerned about her sight. After treatment and being bottle fed Sweetpea improved, and was put in the fawn paddock with Daffodil, a fallow deer that had been hit by a car. Daffodil had head, neck and leg wounds, and when found it was touch and go whether he would survive. However he surprised staff with his recovery and fight to survive. The last deer, Jasmin, a roe, was found lying in a ditch at the side of the road. Fawn is usually the term we use for baby deer but in fact the only one that is truly a fawn is the fallow. The Red is called a calf and a roe is called a kid – however fawn is the term usually used as the accepted name for a baby deer.
These young deer will remain with us until the autumn where they will be taken to a release site monitored by the land owner. This will the responsibility of Jamie Kingscott, who is the Wildlife Release Manager at Secret World. We are always looking for release sites for many different species so if you have land that may be useful, please ring Jamie on 01278 783250 or email Jamie.Kingscott@secretworld.org.
This weekend our resident birds of prey will be out in Weston-super-Mare, on the Grand Pier. Why not pop along and meet them. You will be able to chat to our bird handlers all about them, and find out how they came to be at Secret World. Each owl has an interesting story to tell!
We have been engaging with lots of our younger supporters this week, both on and off site. This is so important to us, as these children are the future, and by teaching them to appreciate and look after wildlife we are protecting it for years to come. We had two well attended Wild Academy sessions, focusing on birds of prey, and reptiles and amphibians. Our Wild Academy workshops encourage children to find out about the natural world around them through games, crafts and outdoor activities. The children who attended certainly seemed to enjoy themselves! We also attended an organised play day in Apex Park, where we made over 250 seed bombs with children!
This week we have had a lot of birds in, including two cygnets who were abandoned by their parents. The two tiny birds were found alone as their parents had flown away. They were too small to fly as their wing feathers had not developed and they were unable to get off the ground.A member of the public found them, and delivered them to us, where their condition was assessed. Both birds were found to be in good health, just too young to be left out alone. They are now flourishing in one of our outside paddocks, where they will stay until they are stronger and their flight feathers have developed. Once this has happened a suitable release site will be found for them, one where there are other swans that they can join.
Another happy story this week involved four tiny sparrows. We had a call from a member of the public who found three tiny sparrows who had recently hatched, and one cracked egg on the ground. The recent rain had destroyed their nest, leaving them to fall to the floor. They came in to us, where they were put into an incubator. The three birds were so tiny they were not expected to survive, but miraculously they did. In another twist of fate the cracked egg is now hatching, meaning the last bird will soon be joining its siblings. The sparrows are in our hospital room, where they are receiving round the clock care and hourly feeds. At this time of year our hospital rooms are full of tiny birds, who are all casualties of the weather. Many arrived during the hot spells, when they fell out of their nests due to the heat. Thanks to our dedicated animal care staff and volunteers who are caring for them all!
The first otter cub rescued by Secret World Wildlife Rescue this year has returned to the rescue centre to continue its recovery with another otter.
Amoré the otter was rescued by the charity in February. After a period of recovery under the care of staff at Secret World, Amoré was transferred to another animal care centre to be paired with another orphaned otter.
A leading animal charity in the South West is warning the public about the dangers plastic materials pose to animals.
After a recent spike in animal admissions with plastic-related injuries, Secret World Wildlife Rescue in East Huntspill, Somerset, is calling for the public to use outdoor plastic materials in a responsible and animal-friendly way.
Over the last month, the charity has rescued three animals with life threatening injuries sustained by plastic materials – a badger, a hedgehog and a heron.
Secret World is celebrating the contributions of its volunteer network for Volunteers’ Week, which begins today.
Secret World Wildlife Rescuein East Huntspill, Somerset has a team of over 350 volunteers who assist the charity with fundraising, animal care and rescue, administration and laundry, amongst many other tasks.
As a charity with limited funds, the team at Secret World are reliant on the dedication of its volunteers, all of whom donate their time for free. The charity shop in Burnham-on-Sea has 12 volunteers alone!