It is really important that we have suitable sites to release wildlife once they have made a full recovery. With this in mind we were delighted when local holiday resort Unity dedicated a piece of woodland on their site to us for releases. Pre-release pens and aviaries have been constructed in the woodland and a new hide has been built so visitors can engage with the woodland wildlife. We are always looking for sites which are suitable for releasing the wild animals that have successfully completed their rehabilitation. We always aim to release adult animals to the spot they were found where food and water supplies are familiar, but orphaned animals have to be released to a new location. Our release manager Jamie Kingscott said “This year we have been able to release several different animals in to the woods at unity farm, which is not only great for our rescued wildlife but also for the woodland ecosystem. Mick (the head gardener at Unity Farm) has been a huge help, always keen to put his skills to good use to help wildlife, and we are very grateful for it.”
This week we have around 50 hedgehogs on site, and this figure is set to rise dramatically with the onset of autumn and winter. The colder months are testing times for hedgehogs as food sources will be in short supply. When they arrive at Secret World they are underweight and often suffering from parasites. We feed the hedgehogs on a diet of meaty cat food in jelly and cat biscuits to help build their strength up. This can get expensive when we have a lot of hungry mouths to feed, and so we are asking for donations to help get our prickly patients through the winter season. Animal care section leader Dan Bryant said “We are expecting a lot more hedgehogs to be admitted over the winter, when nights get colder and they struggle to find food. Feeding and treating them becomes expensive and stretches our resources so we are asking for donations of cat food and biscuits to help the little creatures put on the weight they need to get through hibernation.”
Our beautiful resident Tawny Owl, Star, has had a visit from the vet this week after some attempted amorous behavior with a wild interloper! Star has suffered from damage to the top of her beak after trying to get to a wild owl on the other side of her pen. She has been left with a small injury which has been assessed and treated by a vet, and she will soon be back to normal!
We need your help foraging for food for 5 energetic squirrel orphans. We try to feed our orphaned squirrels on the food they would naturally find in their habitat, so with this in mind we are asking for your help to search out their favourite foods in parks, woodlands and even your garden. This will help us get them fighting fit and ready to be released. Foraging is a great way to get out in the countryside and learn more about these precious habitats, especially in the name of helping these youngsters.