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



January 23rd 2015

So what happened to the past 4 weeks! Well, after a busy Boxing Day, it just got busier at Hessilhead. By then I had 4 otter cubs in the hospital. Ray was still needing a lot of attention, and the new twins had to be encouraged to feed for a week or so. After that they got quite naughty, and still needed a lot of attention. there were feeding times when girl twin would eat, and Boy twin wanted to play. He must have been really annoying, jumping on her back and rolling in front of her. She tried to ignore him, ate her fish and remained calm. When the tables were turned Boy wasn’t so tolerant. he got quite narky, and I had to keep girl away till he’d finished eating. Later they became more adventurous and started to explore the hospital. They were very funny, as while they were exploring they stuck together,joined at the the hip. They stillDSC_9577 - Copy do most things together.


Ray got stronger, but there was a worrying week when he stopped using his left hind leg. After a few days we took him to the wildlife vet at Falkirk. Alastair watched Ray walking taking several x-rays of his back, legs and pelvis. There had been an injury, which had resulted in mottled calcium density. Alastair thought that with rest and metacam treatment, the leg would heal. He was right.

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Squeaky has been living outside for two weeks now. She definitely needed more space, but during the very cold weather I worried about her, and kept taking more and thicker fleeces. She always snug when I went to check on her, often peeping out of her cosy bed.

Today was a big day for Ray and Squeaky. They were to be moved into a new shed, together. As soon as ray’s carrying box was opened, he was out, exploring. Squeaky wasn’t so impressed with the new arranement. She stayed in her box, and shrieked at Ray when he got too close. Before we left them alone, the otters were tentatively sniffing each other, from a distance. Hopefully by morning they will have made friends. i am sure they will have lots of fun playing.

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More seals came, both greys and commons. Not all survived, but we now have 3 pups doing well.Two of them are self feeding, but a common seal pup still gets hand fed. Hopefully it won’t be long till this pup learns to help itself to food.

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We escaped the stormy weather with just a few trees down. No damage to sheds or aviaries. The snow came next, the weight of it breaking more branches, but again no serious damage. Our road was passable with care, as they say, so rescues and care coninued as normal. releases were of course delayed till better weather came.

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The bad weather was difficult for owls and raptors, especially young birds struggling to make it through their first winter. We have 7 buzzards that will be ready for release soon, and some tawny owls. Sadly two kestrels didn’t survive. A hooded crow was released before the bad weather arrived, and we have other corvids that will be released soon.

We’ve been called out to several badly injured RTA roe deer, but one was luckier and made a good recovery.IDSC_9584 - Copyt is back in the wild now.

Swans were released yesterday. One youngster came in with a huge hole at the back of its neck. We stitched it,  gave antibiotics and hoped. It was one of those released. Others have come in underweight, and some have crash landed on roads. A Canada goose is making a fast recovery after being run over, literally. The wounds were on the top surface of its wings.

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