Wildlife FAQS

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Our wildlife freqently asked questions provide a general guide to some of the most common questions we get asked about wildlife everyday. We always recommend you contact your local vets or wildlife rescue centre if you are in any doubt of what to do.

If you have found our guides helpful, a fantastic way to support our wildlife rescue service is by becoming a Wildlife Angel. Our wildlife angels program provides vital care for sick, injured and orphaned wildlife with the aim of rehabilitating and returning each animal back into the wild. Every day we take in wildlife that needs our assistance and provide telephone support via our emergency wildlife helpine on 07872 421878. Last year we treated and helped over 2000 animals before releasing them back into the wild. Please join us if you can.

For advice regarding injured wildlife, please call our wildlife rescue helpline on 07872 421878. Wildlife admissions are by appointment only. Please call us first before bringing an animal to usto check we have available space. Appointments are available from 9.30am till 12.00pm and 4.15pm till 5.30pm. Please note we are closed for visitors at all other times.

Wildlife FAQS for Birds

Try to place the baby bird back into the nest if it can be located. Watch from a distance to see if the parents return. Baby birds are fed throughout daylight hours, so if there are no signs of the parents within an hour or so, you should probably assist and call your local wildlife rescue centre. Please do not wait too long before seeking help. Try to keep the bird warm if it is cold and place it in a small box (tissue boxes are ideal) with some soft bedding until you can bring it in to your local wildlife centre. Do not try to feed or give it water unless you are experienced caring for baby birds.
Place the bird in a box or small carrier with suitable ventilation and keep it quiet and dark. Contact your local wildlife rescue centre or local vet as soon as possible. Wounds may not be visible but cats mouths contain bacteria which can spread very quickly. It may need antibiotics to prevent the spread of infection.
If the bird is stunned or wobbling about, place it in a box or small carrier with suitable ventilation and keep it quiet. Keep it quiet for at least a few hours and check on progress. If it seems to have recovered, try opening the box in your garden to see if it flies away. If it shows no signs of wanting to fly away or still looks unwell, please contact your local wildlife rescue centre.
Please contact your local wildlife rescue centre for advice as it will most likely need treatment and rehabilitation. Broken wings can mend with the right care but sometimes the bird will not be able to fly again. Please ask your wildlife centre if they have facilities to care for birds who cannot fly again. Some injuries are too bad to recover from and to prevent suffering, it may be necessary to take to your local vet to be euthanised.
If possible try to put the nest back in suitable location close by. Observe from a distance for an hour or so and if there are no signs of parents, please contact your local wildlife rescue centre to arrange to bring them in for care until they can be released back into the wild.
These type of birds require an insect based diet and should not be fed with an unsuitable food source as it can damage feather development. It is recommended that they are taken to your local local wildlife rescue centre who can provide appropriate care and assessment.
It all depends on the type of bird. It is often quite natural for youngsters to leave the nest and be looked after by the parents while on the ground until they are able to fly properly. Corvids (crows, jackdaws, jays, magpies) spend some of their time learning to find food on the ground while they are looked after by their parents. Robins feed their young under bushes. Blue tits sometimes separate their brood under bushes for safety once they have fledged and continue to feed in turn. If you are concerned about predators such as cats or if after observation there are no signs of parents in the area, please call your local wildlife center for further advice.

Wildlife FAQS for Hedgehogs

Hedgehogs are typically nocturnal so to see one out during the day could be a sign there is something wrong. If the hedgehog is moving about and looks healthy then leave it alone and observe it. It could be nest building or looking for food and water. Assist it by always making sure there is a water source in your garden and food if possible. If it is asleep out in the open, curled up or staggering around, it needs assistance and you should contact your local wildlife centre as soon as possible. Put it in a cardboard box or pet carrier lined with newspaper or an old tea towel.
They are most likely ticks and they will need to removed with a tick removal tool. Ticks can transfer lymes disease, so always use gloves when handling a hedgehog with a suspected tick infestation. Contact your local wildlife rescue centre to arrange to bring it in for treatment.
A source of food and water can be of great help to hedgehogs. During hot and cold weather, a plate of dog or cat food (not fish variety) and a dish of water can be put out in the evening. You can also buy specialist hedgehog food from wildlife food suppliers online. Avoid milk as they cannot digest it properly. Meal worms should only be given as part of a balanced diet as they are deficient in calcium. Hedgehogs can become addicted to them to the point where they will reject other food. A pile of logs and leaves in your garden can be a great source of natural food for hedgehogs. Hedgehogs are natural insectivores. They enjoy and digest a variety of foods but insect and animal proteins are best as they need a lot of fibre.
Hedgehogs can swim but it is not natural for them. Try to move it out of the pond and to safety as they can easily get stuck. A ramp or pebbled slope should be made so any other hedgehog visitors can get out.
Hedgehogs curl up as a defence mechanism. It could well be injured and will most certainly be in shock. Use gloves or a small towel and pick it up and place it in a box lined with newspapers or an old towel. Contact your local rescue centre as soon as possible to arrange to bring it in to be checked over and assessed for injuries.
Hedgehogs can suffer from a condition known as ballooning. It is caused by air getting trapped and causes them to bloat up. The good news is it can be treated. Use gloves or a small towel and pick it up and place it in a box lined with newspapers or an old towel. Contact your local rescue centre as soon as possible to arrange to bring it in to be checked over and treated.
The most likely cause of this is an injury. Flies lay their eggs around a wound which can hatch as maggots and cause further injury. Contact your local rescue centre as soon as possible to arrange to bring it in to be checked over and treated for its injuries.
Most likely not. Hedgehog mothers are easily disturbed and the babies could be left alone. Without help they will not survive. Baby hoglets can be hand reared and returned to the wild when they are ready. As a rule of thumb, hedgehogs need to be approximately 600 grams to be able survive the winter months during hibernation. If there is no sign of mum, please contact your local wildlife rescue centre for advice.
Hedgehogs don't usually feed on vegetables or greens. They do not make a nutritional contribution to the diet of a hedgehog and do not need to be provided.
The four golden tips are Food, Shelter, Water and Freedom to Roam. Hedgehogs can travel considerable distances looking for food and a CD sized hole in your garden fence can help them get around. Shelter is just as important as hedgehogs need somewhere to sleep, hibernate and breed. You can go all fancy and buy a premade hedgehog house online or make your own - a bit of wood to construct a box and some leaves and twigs makes a fun project for the family. There are loads of plans and ideas available online - search for hedgehog box plans

Wildlife Faqs for Mice

Mice like to forage and if you have a found a mouse that needs some care, you might be wondering what to feed it. Luckily most households will have ingredients that can be given. Pasta cooked or raw along with a variety of fruits and vegetables such as broccoli, curly kale, strawberries, apples and blackberries make a good starting point. Apples and blackcurrants are known for their antioxidant properties and high vitamin content. Small amounts of boiled eggs, pulses, cereals and dried herbs can also be offered. If you don't have anything to hand, try your local pet store who will offer premade mixes that are suitable for mice. Always make sure a small bowl of water is provided along with any food.
Don't panic. With a little care you should be able to help. The mouse will most likely be in shock. Pick it up with a soft cloth or with gloves and pop it in a box. Place a small towel or cloth in the bottom of the box - shoe boxes are ideal - and keep it somewhere warm. A little hay or shredded paper (old newspapers are great for shredding) can be put in one corner to make a temporary home. Observe first to see if it has any injuries. If there are no obvious signs of injury, keep it quiet and offer some food and water. Monitor it for a few hours to see if it shows signs of improving - eating and drinking are good signs to watch for. Once it is showing signs of improving and looks to be moving about freely, it can be released back into the wild in a safe location away from predators. If you are at all worried or you can see blood or other injuries, please contact your local wildlife rescue or vet for more advice on what to do.

Wildlife Faq for Squirrels

It’s illegal in the UK for anyone to release grey squirrels into the wild from December 2019. This means that wildlife rescue centres in England which previously took in, rehabilitated and released wild grey squirrels, can no longer do so. Please visit Defra website for more information on the law regarding Grey Squirrels.