Thursday, 22 December 2011
8 men with 13 dogs , shotguns and rifles were amazingly observed at the scene by the well known wildlife painter Robert Fuller.
He had the courage and presence of mind to photgraph them and call the police.
Sgt Paul Stepehenson arrested the men and spent the next 11 months putting together a well informed and precise case to put before the courts.
for the court process.
We found this foetus torn from the pregnant sow scattered on the field of battle.
This week 7 of the men were convicted at Scarborough Magistrates Court of killing and baiting these animals.
Sentencing will be on 10th January 2012.
It was a harrowing eventful case both at the time and in court.
My grateful thanks to Robert Fuller for standing up for badgers and for being so the right man in the right place that day.
Also to Sgt Paul Stephenson of Malton Police for his diligence and determination to bring these low life's to court.
Thankyou to PC Jez Walmsley the Wildlife Liason Officer at Malton for his help and support throughout.
Also RSPCA Insp. Geoff Edmond, a good friend and supporter of wildlife and badgers in particular for his
expertise and support.
I buried the baited badgers yesterday in sloping woodland in thier home territory.
Sunday, 30 October 2011
These beautiful young Barn Owls were found cold and wet on the floor outside a stable.
They were dried out and are feeding well and have just started to fly.
They will be ready to go in mid November, but to release or not ?
Barn Owls had a rough winter and some of the breeding females were not in good enough condition to breed,
so had late broods.
I have had more youngsters in that did not make it.Will have to wait and see what the waeather is like before I let them go.
This sow badger was found sleeping out in the rain in a back garden on the North York Moors. The kind householder rigged up a warm dry kennel and the badger moved in. She had been there a few days when I called to have a look at her. I took her over to Battleflatts Vets and Mark the vet x rayed her . She was intact but had an abcess under an ear which needed antibiotics.She ate very well and remained quiet and dignified. After a week she perked up and I took her back. She moved at ease back on a badger path for home. The householder feeds these badgers and knows them well so she was so pleased to see her back.She has not returned to her kennel, but has been back for food.
Mute swan parents tell thier youngsters to clear off at this time of year and they arrive here bewildered and thin. 3 came in with a couple of days, one had been hit by a car standing on the road and had to be put to sleep. One had come from Middlesboro' and could not stand, she ate well and enjoyed the swan company and soon was on her feet.The other was found on the beach at Cayton with a blooded bill and just needed some time out. The adult white female was wondering away from water. She was moulting and could only walk not fly.They all did well and much conversations were heard in the swan pen.
I took them for ringing and release to North Duffield where they joined up with other non breeding birds. They were so pleased to be back in thier element.
A Little Grebe was found in the street in Bridlington unable to get up and go. This juvenile may be a Continental bird flown in tired and lost. The bird was not injured and was left to rest in a warm cupboard and enjoyed dabbling in fresh water overnight. She was released next day on a river where she paddling and dived out of sight.
Saturday, 27 August 2011
1 had to be put to sleep, as she had a badly smashed wing but the rest all made it back.
This little male only weighed just over 100g. He was found in York unable to fly off .
He was a this years bird, as were the majority of the others ,they just hadn't got the hang of their independance.
Birds moult thier feathers slowly so they can continue flying and feeding. This bird would not be able to hover as Kestrels do to catch food.
I took him for Andy Forsyth the vet to examine.He would have to be kept in an avairy for months until new moulted feathers come through or given medication to encourage moulting. We're 3 weeks into a 5 week regime of daily medication. He has remained wild and daily tolerates the handling . Fingers crossed that he can go out with new feathers soon.
Tuesday, 19 July 2011
Morrisons car park in Beverely and he took him home.His 3 siblings were still in the nest box and he huddled back up in the familiarity of the box and home. A week later Rob was passing by and he looked in to see how things were going.The 4 youngsters hissed thier displeasure at being disturbed again , all looked well and thier was plenty of food in the larder.
Sunday, 10 July 2011
I rang in the incident to the North Yorkshire Police, which at first was ignored, there is not a Wildlife Crime Officer dedicated to York at the moment.Eventually a knowledgable WCO came down from Bedale and visited the area where she was snared. I had been for a look also and sadly there were 2 areas of disturbance where 2 badgers had been caught.
I put the travelling box down and she scrabbled about ready for the off. To say she went well was an under statement !Fast, straight and galloping, down the farm track then a sharp left and into the thick cover of oil seed rape. Lovely. I hate snares and think its about time this barbaric practise was finally banned forever.
Monday, 30 May 2011
It is the skull of an adult badger with a clear bullet fracture .
Alarm bells rang and the tenant farmer, myself and PC Jez Walmsley the Wildlife Crime Officer at Malton were concerned. The land was keepered by David Stephen Welford of Whitegrounds near Malton.
In September 2010 a dead badger was just visible in an ancient badger sett at Menethorpe.
His excuse was she was too badly injured to survive and shot her. She had a bruise and at the post mortem this thin bruise was her only injury from the snare.
It is illegal to set a snare close to a badger sett, she was snared 12 metres from her home.
After months of the court process Welford eventually pleaded guilty and was fined £385 and £100 costs.
The life a badger is worth £385, shameful.
Thursday, 12 May 2011
Lesley from Durham Badger Group went out to have a look.
She tried to return him to the nearest active sett. By now he was very tired and laid down and went to sleep , refusing to go to ground.
Lots of phone calls and conversations occured and we met up off the A19 and the cub came here for some rest and rehab.
He weighed 1646g and had tiny teeth so only just at the weaning stage. He would not take to a bottle so was rehydrated and left to rest in a warm pen under a heat lamp.
Various food items were left in the pen and he took to powdered esbilac milk with baby rusk and honey, they love sweet things.He also ate some tinned and soaked complete dog food.
He needed warmth and rest and good food.
He was taken for a blood test a couple of days later.
The protocol for hand reared badger cubs is to test them for tb 3 times, at least a month apart, and all tests must be negative before they are released in groups in late summer, early autumn. Cubs are given thier first test before introducing them to other orphan cubs for rearing. Badger cubs must be reared together as single cubs can imprint very easily on thier human carers and then cannot live the wild life they were intended for.
As expected his test was negative, we do not have tb in badgers in the north.
He needed badger company and there are very few trusted centres that can care for cubs in the right and proper way.
He went to the RSPCA wildldife hospital in Stapeley, Cheshire. They seemed to be a miserable lot when I arrived there, let's hope they care for the wildlife better than they treat the humans transpoerting them.
He should do well and will be housed with other cubs which makes all the difference.
It was a pleasure to have him here for a short while, badgers will always be special to me.
Thursday, 7 April 2011
She was given antibiotics, lots of food and left to rest under a heat lamp.
She laid doggo for 2 days, eating all before her and sleeping rolled up in deep straw.
If left alone, fed well and unharassed badgers will switch off and heal well.
She was ready for release a week later.
There was some stubborness on her part to enter the travelling box, but after some firm cajoling with a board she stepped in and was ready for travelling and release.
The kind householder that found her joined us in my car for a look round the area.
Badgers are very territorial and must be put back very close to where they are found. It was dusk with a bit of traffic still about.A field away from the original site was a lovely badger path leading into a scrubby dark wood.
As I lifted her in the box, she raised her head, drinking in the smell of home.
She stepped smartly out of the travelling cage before I had fully opened the door. She took off along the badger path at speed, for the familiarity of home.
Always the best bit of rehabilitation.
The first Mallard duckling is here along with a baby Robin, 2 juv Tawnies and a rta adult Tawny.
Saturday, 5 March 2011
This young Tawny was found on a wood floor at Bransholme, Hull this week.
He had a wing measurement of 98mm making him about 3-4 weeks old.
The parent birds must have begun nesting in the dark, extremely cold days
of the New Year.
He is just too young to be a "brancher" and must have fallen out of the nest hole.
They come out of the nest shouting for food and are still unable to fly. If they fall out
they can and do climb back up with talons and bill. I don't think he would have managed to get back.
He should rear well and be released back once he is a strong flyer and has good adult flight feathers.
Deer make difficult paitents in rehab. They are extremely skittish, shy and very nervous.
This adult roe buck was crossing a busy road and was clipped by a car. A following mini bus driver kindly stopped as the deer was laid out thrashing wildly.
He picked him up and laid him among the seats, he had no passengers at the time. After arriving here we drove straight to the vets and after a listen to his chest and an examination of his fine slim legs we decided to give him a go.
I laid him in deep straw in a small shed with a heat lamp and left him to rest. He was concussed , had a bloody mouth and a deep gash to one leg but didn't look too bad, only time would tell. He remained calm and slightly dopey the next day, he had swelling to one side of his face but was on his keel and looking ok. I hoped he would stand and start to look more active.
The next day he could stand on his back legs but one of his front legs was loose and not right.
The vet called again and the injury to the front leg was just too severe and he was quietly put to sleep.
Some you win, some you loose.
Wednesday, 9 February 2011
She followed the movement of a horse and rider.
The river was in flood, the banking was close to a busy road and a popular dog walking area.
We can only guess as to why she was alone.
She settled into a pen with fresh trout and a hidy hole.
They have a very good record and tailor made facilites for caring for otters.
She will travel on to the New Forest in the next couple of days to join 2 other cubs for her rehabilitation.
This superb close up photograph was taken by Helen Jones.
Mike Jones, her husband, is one of the vets at Battleflatts , Stamford Bridge, York.
I have worked with Mike over the years and he has always been kind and supportive.
They holiday in Scotland watching, Otter, Pine Martin and White Tailed Sea Eagle.
Helen has a web site, http://www.jonesvetphotography.co.uk/ where she displays her wildlife photographs.
It's been a hard week with a savage badger persecution incident.
I have seethed with anger and hatred but have at last settled down, it's not good to be that angry.
Caring for wildlife is not always easy but spring is round the corner and I look forward ................
Saturday, 15 January 2011
This was an active badger sett until agricultural contractors set to work. This sett was badly damaged last March. It has taken this long to get them into court. Sadly the case was dismissed this week after a 2 day trial.
The magistrated decided that as the contractors didn't know it was a sett then they were not guilty for recklessly destroying it.
By more good luck than judgement one entrance was left open, so any remaining live badgers could get out.
Within a day or two the entrance was enlarged by the badgers and lots of footprints were visible.
This badger sett is still in active use with 5 active badger sett entrances.
Very disappointing to get a not guilty but hopefully an experience not to be repeated.
The weather has warmed up and a Mute Swan,3 Mallard ducklings,5 Tawny Owls, a Little Owl and a Barn Owl ate well here and were safe in avairies during the very hard weather. All are out now , back to where they should be.
The hedgehogs do well and some have continued to eat through the winter.