If you come across a wild animal that you think needs help, please seek advice before taking any action. Unless it has obvious injuries or is in immediate danger e.g. from vehicles or predators, it may not need rescuing at all.
Please telephone us if there is an obvious injury on 01531 633141
If you need advice, we will do our best to help, but the staff at Vale Wildlife Hospital near Tewkesbury are experts and extremely helpful (01386 882288).
Hedgehogs are nocturnal creatures and if you find one out in the daytime it may well have a problem. In the autumn especially, hedgehogs suffer an increase in lungworm burdens. We can treat this fairly successfully, so please look out for skinny youngsters out in the day.
A sick hedgehog can become severely dehydrated, which can be fatal. It is therefore important to seek help. If possible, put the hedgehog in a high-sided box with a towel in the bottom so it doesn’t walk off while you make the phone call! The best food to give to a hedgehog is a good quality meaty cat or dog food and complete cat biscuits. Fresh water should always be available. Hedgehogs cannot digest cows’ milk so the old ‘bread and milk’ regime must be avoided.
Hedgehogs hibernate when the weather is very cold, although they do wake for food in milder periods. To survive hibernation, hedgehogs need to have enough fat reserves, and should be at least 450-500gms by the end of October. If not, they may need extra care. It’s best to contact a local wildlife rescue or hedgehog carer for advice.
Injured birds should be placed in a covered box with a towel for transportation. They can be difficult to treat in a veterinary setting, but there is a very knowledgeable rehabilitator locally, for those birds that require it.
Many newly fledged garden birds build up their flight muscles by hopping about on the ground and in low bushes and shrubs. During this time they are still being fed by the parent birds, but if anyone is nearby, the adult bird will stay away. Therefore, the young bird should be left (unless it is in imminent danger) and watched from a discreet distance to see whether it is being fed. Young owls are sometimes found at the base of a tree looking sorry for themselves. Remarkably, they are capable of climbing back up the tree to the nest site! They should be left alone unless they are very young or in danger.
If a young bird is genuinely abandoned or orphaned, please take it to your nearest wildlife rescue centre as soon as possible as it may need feeding as often as every 15 minutes. It is best not to attempt to feed it yourself as different species have very different diets. Under no circumstances should you try to give any liquid as it is very easy for it to go into the lungs of a baby bird.
Ledbury Park Veterinary Centre does not have the facilities or expertise to treat the larger wildlife such as badgers, foxes and deer. Do not attempt to move injured animals; you may get bitten. Please phone your local wildlife rescue centre for assistance