Among the youngsters being cared for at East Winch Wildlife Centre, near King’s Lynn, are six ducklings rescued from a drain, an orphaned leveret whose mother was shot, five rabbit kittens whose nest had been destroyed and a fox cub who’d got his head stuck in a glass jar.
All the wild animals needed care after human intervention caused them to struggle in the wild.
The fox cub, thought to be just three weeks old, was found by a member of public in a park in Peterborough with his head trapped in a glass jar on Sunday (March 29). The passer-by removed the jar from the head, wrapped the young fox in his jumper,and took him home where he called the RSPCA. Fortunately, no injuries were sustained but without a mother the cub needs regular feeds until he is big enough to eat for himself, and be released back to the wild.
The leveret, or baby hares, was brought in to the centre on Monday 23 March by a member of the public after his mother had been shot. He is thought to be just two weeks old and were with three other siblings, who very sadly did not survive. It is not known who shot the mother hare or why.
The young rabbits, thought to be around ten days old, were also brought in by a member of the public on the same day after their nest was accidentally destroyed by humans and their mother did not return.
The ducklings were thought to be just a few days old when they were found down a drain in New Sporle Road in Swaffham on Saturday March 21. It is thought they had probably been crossing the road with their mum to get to some green on the other side, and were so tiny that they slipped through the grills and fell down the drain in the road.
Sue Levings, wildlife administrator for East Winch, said: “So far all the surviving animals are doing really well and getting stronger by the day.
“They all came to us for different reasons - but none as a result of nature. Humans destroyed the nest, and shot the mother hare, and the glass jar and drains are, of course, man-made.
“They are all too little and young to survive without their mothers in the wild, but we hope that with a little time we can help with that. They are all getting regular feeds and the support they need to grow strong enough to survive back out in the wild on their own.
“It is sad of course that they had to come to us for care rather than grow up in the wild, but it does make it feel like spring around here with all the babies to feed.”
Sue added: “We are so grateful to all the members of the public for contacting us about these animals and taking the time to rescue and save their lives.
“However, it is important to remember that not all young animals need rescuing as some would be better off being left where they are. Every year our centres are inundated with young animals after people, with the best of intentions, believe them to be orphaned or abandoned and bring them in.
“Our advice is that if you see a lone baby animal, unless it is obviously injured or in immediate danger from predators or traffic, monitor the situation from afar; the likelihood is that it does not need rescuing. Young animals have a much greater chance of survival if they remain with their mothers.”
East Winch is having an Open Day on Sunday, June 28, 10am to 4pm, including a barbecue.