Oak & Furrows, Blakehill Nature Reserve, Malmesbury Rd, Leigh, Cricklade, Wiltshire, SN6 6RA. Telephone: 01793 751412

Rescue Advice

Firstly, please do not give any animal anything to eat or drink unless advised to do so.

If you think you have found a wildlife casualty you should always give it a little time before attempting to capture it as it might not be in as much trouble as you think. Watch the animal for 20-30 minutes (Unless it is an emergency and needs immediate attention) and if you still think it needs assistance then you can act.

If you suspect the animal has been orphaned, please read our Orphan Advice page for more information on what to do next.

It is always beneficial for us if once a casualty has been found, it can be secured as we cannot always tend to the animal immediately and it may move from the site it was reported at. Garden birds and pigeons, hedgehogs and other small mammals, can be captured with little risk to the handler. However larger birds, birds of prey and large mammals should be left to the experts (e.g. badgers and foxes). If in doubt, ring for advice.

If you have found a large mammal or bird of prey in need of assistance, please stay with it until help can arrive so we are able to find it easily. If may be helpful you can cover the animal with a blanket completely if you can get close enough without the animal panicking. This will keep it warm and hide it from all the fuss going on around it. It could prevent it attempting to get up and move away from people.

Remember before attempting to capture the casualty you will something to put it into. This could be a suitable size cardboard box with air holes punched through it, with a towel in the bottom. The towel or jumper in the box not only provides warmth, but a place to burrow into and hide, and also something to hold on to during transportation. If this is not available just a jumper to wrap around the animal during its journey to the centre or until help arrives.

To catch birds and small mammals it is a good idea to use a towel or light material to drop over it once cornered, then casualty and towel can be scooped up and placed in the box. If your casualty is a hedgehog then fold your towel to pick him up, giving thicker material and more protection to you or use a pair of gardening gloves.

Once your casualty is in the box, close the lid quickly or make it secure to prevent escape. Your casualty is a wild creature and it is neither appreciative nor grateful for your help, and is likely to try anything to escape. By placing it in the dark it is less distressed, still not happy but the dark will help to calm it down. Never hold your casualty, if it has to be held as you have nothing to put in, then it should be loosely but completely wrapped.

Once in the box, resist the urge to peep every five minutes, leave the box in a quiet, dark place help arrives or put it in the boot of your car or footwell for transportation to the rescue centre.

Careful capture, handling and transportation can really make the difference between life and death. Where avoidable do not put wildlife casualties in a mesh type carrier, it is a recipe for disaster, being able to see out they will be constantly trying to escape and could injure them self further. If this is your only option, try and cover them completely with a large towel or blanket to put them at ease.

Remember call directly for help DO NOT e-mail. Ring 01793 751412

Grebe