Wildlife

wildlife

The USPCA will help relieve the suffering of injured native wildlife.

As a Charity we are required to make effective use of our limited physical and financial resources; incidents involving injury to wildlife occur at random and without any regard for time or distance.

Experience has shown a speedy response curtails suffering and increases a creature’s chance of survival and we advise the public discovering an injured animal to follow these guidelines.

Remember

An injured animal is often in pain and always traumatised by its misfortune. This can lead to aggressive behaviour. DO NOT put yourself at risk. If its location or behaviour poses a hazard to the public or to passing vehicles you must inform the PSNI immediately.

Action

If you can contain the creature in a suitable box or by wrapping it in a blanket to prevent it compounding its injuries it should be brought to a local vet for assessment and treatment. Guidance on confining injured animals can be obtained from an experienced USPCA Welfare Officer by calling 028 3025 1000 between 8.00am – 8.00pm Monday to Saturday and 1pm – 6pm on Sunday.

This number can also be called by the vet to obtain a unique treatment voucher number which will make a USPCA contribution towards the cost of relieving the animals suffering.

Outcome

Whenever possible injured wildlife will be rehabilitated and released into a suitable habitat. Unfortunately this outcome is not possible when the creature’s ability to survive in the wild is compromised. In those circumstances we undertake to relieve suffering in a humane and compassionate way.

Abandoned Baby Animals i.e. birds, seals, mammals etc.

Every year we take many calls concerning supposedly abandoned baby animals. Many are NOT ABANDONED, whilst mother is hunting for food baby decides to explore. A good rule of thumb is ‘if they’re big enough to get out, they’re big enough to get back in’ leave well alone. By ‘rescuing’ the bird you are compromising its chances of survival. 

In the case of seals the cub is often left on a beach to await mothers return and like most young children they call for her. This is not a reason to bring it home with you!

If in doubt take expert advice through http://www.exploris.org.uk/ They will know if a seal is truly abandoned and if necessary arrange its rescue. 

Feral Cats

There are now more cats than dogs kept as pets.

Whilst dogs go astray, cats go feral.

They form colonies, disease is rife, breeding is uncontrolled, only the fittest and fiercest survive. Well-meaning house holders feed them perpetuating the problem. Some cat Charities have a trap, neuter and release programme.

Adult feral cats are not suitable as family pets.

If a colony in on a large scale it becomes an issue for local authority pest control.

Cats Protection is an organisation experienced in these matters and will give good advice. Telephone 028 9048 0202 or email belfast@cats.org.uk.

Springtime

Though it still seems a long way off with the terrible weather we’ve had, Spring is here. With the improving weather comes a new set of animal issues to consider.

Read the USPCA Spring Guide

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Winter Bird Feeding Guide

While most of us will be safe and warm inside this winter, the native wildlife endures a much tougher time during the colder months.

The USPCA strongly promote feeding the birds in your garden this winter.

Read our winter bird feeding guide and protect the wildlife in your garden this winter.

Guide-to-Feeding-Birds---USPCA_sm

 

6 hedgehogs from across Northern Ireland have being released back into the wild by the USPCA Animal Hospital

6 Autumn Baby Hedgehogs have been nursed back to health at the USPCA’s Animal Hospital over the winter months.

Now the healthy hedgehogs have been taken to sites identified specifically as being “hog-friendly”.

The USPCA Animal Hospital team of Vets, Nurses and staff were delighted to work on this release project along with the Jackson and Gough Families from Tandragee.

After the release we spoke to Antony Jackson about his experience:

Antony Jackson stated

“In the Autumn of 2013, whilst discussing how few hedgehogs we had seen over the summer, I contacted the USPCA in Newry and making enquiries there. I had not darkened the doors of their smart premises on the ring road, and was very impressed with the setup when I did. Instead of being treated as a ‘Good Life do-gooder’, my request to help with the release of wild hedgehogs was taken very seriously.

It was explained to me that whilst the hospital was caring for a number of orphans and casualties, they were too small or weak to be released into the wild so close to winter. The USPCA would nurture them over the cold months, and if I was still interested in the Spring I should make contact again then.

In fact it was the USPCA who contacted us in the end. They rang to say that they had six hedgehogs that were ready to be released back into the wild. I jumped at the opportunity, and made an appointment to meet with the veterinary & wildlife nurse for the handover on the 5th April. She was very thorough, and asked all about where our house was located, and the type of habitat I was proposing to release the little creatures in to. Each animal was carefully placed into a very smart USPCA release box, and with a tear in the eye the Wildlife Nurse Sandra who was about to say goodbye to her six charges.

Then, joined enthusiastically by my wife and children, we set off down the field leading to the little copse that borders a stretch of the river Cusher. Being mindful to give them all a good piece of territory each, we gently released them one by one into the spring growth of moss, primrose and wild garlic. They balled up immediately as we cupped them in our gloved hands, but after a time on the ground their inquisitive nature would win out over self-defence, and little black snouts would emerge from the spiny balls, sniff the air, and slowly uncoil to reveal the twinkly-eyed Mrs. Tiddywinkle straight out of tags tad pages of Beatrix Potter.

We cheerfully wished them health and well- being in their new home, and we left them to settle in for the night. Since the release, there have been two positive sightings of our new friends, and we look forward to many more over the summer. Thank you so much to the USPCA for facilitating this happy event, and allowing to reintroduce this delightful little creature back onto our land.”

Read our General Guide and Advice to Hedgehogs

General Guide and Advice on Hedgehogs USPCA