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!
Secret World Wildlife Rescue in the South West is seeking new friends and supporters through its latest initiative to help it raise more money.
As the demand for animal rescue has increased over the last 25 years, Secret World Wildlife Rescue is starting a new Friendship Circle to help it meet the increasing costs of rescuing over 5,000 animals each year. The charity, based in East Huntspill, Somerset, is wholly reliant on the generosity of its supporters.
The new friendship circle aims to keep its supporters better informed in return for committed financial support. The initiative is being led by the charity’s founder Pauline Kidner.
Fears are growing for two hand-reared badgers who appeared on a popular BBC TV show on Saturday 17th March, following moves to extend the badger cull on to land near their release site.
Gnat and Bumblebee appeared on Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s BBC2 show Hugh’s Wild West . They were filmed last year while being cared for by staff and volunteers at the Secret World Wildlife Rescue centre in East Huntspill, which rescues, rehabilitates and releases British wildlife that has been abandoned and injured. Following the responsible protocol for the rehabilitation of badgers, the cubs were tested 3 times, a month apart, for Bovine TB and were negative.
You might have seen us on the news at the start of this week. Our founder and advisor Pauline was on BBC Points West talking about the heron we have on site, and how the recent cold weather has affected British wild birds. Publicity like this is great for us, as it gets our name out there and if people find an injured animal they are much more likely to call us for advice.
The heron that was the centre of this publicity is doing really well! He came in to us in a very weak condition as he had been unable to find food. After a bit of warmth and TLC from our animal carers he was soon back to full health. This week he was moved from his indoor enclosure to our water paddock, where he will build up muscle ready for release back into the wild. Sarah, who has been looking after him, said: “We lost so many herons as they are so nervous and poorly by the time they reach us, so it was wonderful when this skeletal heron took fish from my hand. He has continued to improve and put on weight.”
We had a lovely ending to the week when we released a group of lapwings that came in during the snow. These beautiful birds were close to death when they arrived, as they hadn’t been able to find any food. Lapwings often feed at night in moonlight but many were bought to us by people who found them cold, exhausted and starving in their gardens. After feeding them up and a period of rehabilitation they were soon ready to go back to the wild. Sarah had the lovely job of releasing them, and seeing the fly free. She said: “It’s not easy to care for these kind of birds as they are so nervous but by feeding them on mealworms and waxworms, we have been able to get them back up to their normal weight and ready for release – it’s the best part of my job!” We wish the little guys lots of luck!
A delivery of a new marquee rounded off the week. Our old one was damaged during the high winds at the start of the year, and we have managing without for months. Now we have a nice new one, all ready for our Easter Family Fun Days, which take place on Friday March 30th and Saturday March 31st. It’s a free event and there will be lots going on, so we hope many of you will be able to join us!
Secret World’s badger cubs get starring role on BBC 2
Meet Bumblebee and Gnat, two badger cubs we looked after last year. Gnat came to Secret World last May, weighing just over 500g, a quarter of the size he should have been. Although small for his age, he soon became friends with another badger cub Bumblebee and they had many hours of rough and tumble fun together, Gnat holding his own against his larger friend! Both were joined by another two cubs and successfully released as a family unit last last summer. See them on Hugh’s Wild West(aired at 6pm Saturday on BBC2) with River Cottage’s Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall.
Staff at Secret World Wildlife Rescue in East Huntspill were surprised when one of the bats in their care gave birth.
The pipistrelle bat has been in the care of Secret World since December and was brought in having been disturbed from hibernation and found to be severely underweight – too underweight to be released immediately.
While the bat was recovering, staff were surprised by how many mealworms she was eating – double the amount for a bat her size and sex.
Following the successful launch of its Make a Will Week last year, Secret World Wildlife Rescue in Somerset has partnered up with three local law firms to host a Legacy Day on Saturday 10th March.
In preparation for Secret World’s Make a Will Week (9th to 13th April), supporters are being invited to attend a Legacy Day to learn more about writing wills. Secret World will be serving cream teas and other refreshments throughout the afternoon and there will also be opportunities for visitors to meet the resident wildlife and hear about the work the charity does.