For over 25 years Hessilhead has cared for Scotland's injured and orphaned wildlife, aiming to rescue, treat, rehabilitate and release birds and animals back to the wild

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Archives for Badger

12th August 2013


Today a young lesser black backed gull was rescued in Greenock. It had a hook in its throat and line dangling from its beak. The point of the hook was poking through the skin. We cut the barb from the hook, then gently eased the line and remaining hook up the neck. Job done, antibiotics given, and gull wants to get back in the wild.

On Saturday a new seal pup was delivered from Northumberland. He is heavier than the last pup, had a nasty abcess, but no other injuries. He is being hand fed sardines.

On Saturday our old badger Mr Crusty died in his sleep. Mr Crusty was rescued over two years ago, with territorial bites, no ears and worn out teeth. He was in a bad way, but people had been feeding him for years, and felt he was one of the family. He seemed to be a special badger. We gave him a retirement enclosure, and he spent most of his time wrapped in a duvet. It is sad that he has gone, but we feel he had a good twilight life.

DSC_8108_resampledStill a few nestling coming into care. There is a cheeky wee wren that it always hungry, and today a day old pigeon was brought in. More swifts ready to go now, and blackbirds, a wagtail and jackdaw.

July 12th

DSC_7747_resampled  When we returned from releasing the hedgehogs, 4 more had been flown in from Benbecula, and some more baby hedgehogs had been delivered too.

Yesterday two new badger cubs came to Hessilhead. We heard about these cubs a few weeks ago. A little female badger had been found alone. She was underweight and dehydrated, but after a few days in the care of Reg Pollard, she was fit enough for release. When Reg took her to the nearest sett, he discovered to his horror, that it had been dug. A very weak male cub was lying nearby. The little boar was taken to a vet, and after veterinary treatment and lots of tlc from Reg, he made a full recovery. Reg couldn’t keep the cubs for long. He just had a garden shed for them, and he was afraid that as they got older and stronger, they would dig their way out. Reg asked if we could take the cubs at Hessilhead, and usually we’d have had no hesitation. The problem was that these cubs were in N E England. As you will know, some badgers in England carry bTB, though Scotland is bTB free. So we asked Reg to get the cubs tested, and when the results came back negative, transport was arranged. At present we have the cubs in isolation, but after 2 more tests, at monthly intervals, if all is well they will be able to join our group of cubs for rehabilitation