Wednesday 18 May 2022
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Media Release

Dave and Galadriel the oiled seabirds released back into the wild

Dave and Galadriel the oiled seabirds released back into the wild

Tuesday 11 January 2022

Dave and Galadriel the oiled seabirds released back into the wild


MEDIA RELEASE: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and not Bailiwick Express, and the text is reproduced exactly as supplied to us

Dave the Razorbill and Galadriel the Guillemot are now back into the wild.

Dave was rescued on the 8th December on the Shingle Bank at L’Eree covered in oil and Galadriel was rescued at Grandes Rocques on the 10th December also covered in black oil.

After treatments and bathes by the GSPCA team both birds improved and after weeks of intensive care moved onto their rehabilitation pools. On Thursday they were fit enough to be released back to where they belong.

To make a donation you can go to https://giving.gg/donate/charity/2/Guernsey-Society-for-the-Prevention-of-Cruelty-to-Animals-(GSPCA)

Steve Byrne GSPCA Manager said “Stormy weather causes many casualties and the recent storms were no exception with oiled birds and injured seal pups.”

“Dave the Razorbill and Galadriel the Guillemot were rescued covered in oil but after treatment and bathes as well as time on our pools on Thursday they were ready for the wild.”

“Last month we joined in with the States of Guernsey Oil Spill Response training which was really interesting and one of the biggest challenges we could face if there was ever another disaster.”

“The GSPCA has helped with many oil spill disasters over the years and we hope to build a new Wildlife Hospital this year so we can update our facilities.”

Yvonne Branquet Animal Care Assistant said “Every year, especially in the Winter we are called on to help oiled birds.”

“Sadly there is a lot of oil on our sea bed for various reasons and when we have storms this can be disturbed and come to the surface.”

“We were delighted to get Dave and Galadriel back to the wild very soon.”

Neil Hughes GSPCA staff member said “It was fantastic to release Dave and Galadriel back to the wild.”

“They certainly didn’t hang about and flew out to sea and looked very happy.”

Below is some advice on what you can do if you find an injured animal, but please remember the GSPCA have a 24 hour emergency service and their number is 01481 257261.

If possible, contain the animal before calling - see the GSPCA's capture and boxing advice below.

 

Capture and boxing

If it's safe to catch and contain the animal this should be done very carefully. Make sure you use gloves and keep the animal away from your face. A secure cardboard box with ventilation holes and lined with a towel or newspaper is ideal. Keep the contained animal as quiet as possible and either take it to a vet, to the Animal Shelter, or call us on 01481 257261.

Caution!

Handling any animal - whether it is domestic, wild, dead or alive - is potentially hazardous. Obvious dangers include bites, scratches and general hygiene issues such as disease transmission.

Whenever handling wild animals you should wear gloves and hold the animal away from your face and those of others. Holding at a distance is especially important with sea birds as they often peck toward eyes so glasses or goggles can be useful. With birds of prey they have especially strong claws so using a towel or piece of clothing is best to prevent injury to your hands.

Always use common sense and, if unsure, seek additional advice or assistance. Personal hygiene should be taken into consideration after handling any animal.

 

I have found an injured…

animal by the side of the road -

This can be a very dangerous situation. Don’t do anything that will put you or anyone else at risk. If you can, watch the animal from a distance. Try to see whether it’s still alive. If the animal moves away, watch where it goes. Don’t try and stop it – it will be very stressed and might cause you or itself further injury. If safe to do so, pick the animal up and contain it as described above. If the animal is alive but you can't contain it, call the GSPCA to report your location.

animal on the beach -

If you find an oiled bird and it is safe to pick it up, make sure you're wearing gloves - not only can the bird injure you but the oil could be hazardous to your health. See the GSPCA's capture and boxing advice above. If the animal is a seal or whale, don't get too close and follow the advice below for seals. It is rare but if you see a whale please call the GSPCA immediately.

animal in a snare or trap -

As upsetting as this situation is, never try and free the animal yourself. You might hurt yourself or the animal even more, and may actually commit an offence if the snare has been legally set. Stay well back to avoid stressing the animal further and call the GSPCA to report the animal’s location. If you happen to have a camera with you, it would also be useful to take some photographs of the scene.

animal tangled up in fishing line -

Don’t try and free the animal yourself – you could end up hurting it even more. Call the GSPCA and report the animal’s location. If there are people responsible for the site, let them know so they can clear up the litter.

bird in my garden -

Unfortunately cats kill many wild animals every year, especially young birds. Birds that have been caught by cats are often found on the ground and may not show any obvious injuries. However, wounds can become infected so the bird will need veterinary treatment. See their capture and boxing advice above.

Another common cause of injuries is birds flying into windows. Unfortunately they don’t always see panes of glass but you can help by putting bird of prey silhouettes on the windows. If you find a bird that you think has hit a window, it might need veterinary treatment. Sometimes though, they are just stunned and can recover on their own, given time. If there's no sign of recovery in a couple of hours or so, then you need to help. 

 

Other causes of injury

Wires -

Some birds, like swans, can hit power lines because they don’t see them. Any bird that has hit a power line will need immediate treatment so call the GSPCA. Other animals, can get trapped on wire fences. Don't try and untangle them yourself - let the GSPCA know.

Litter -

Litter can pose a significant problem to wild animals that can get trapped or entangled. Sometimes it is a matter of freeing the individual and letting it go back to the wild but in some cases treatment and care is required. If this is the case, read our capture and boxing section above.

To help prevent animals from being injured by litter the GSPCA asks everyone to keep Guernsey tidy.

 

If You Spot A Hedgehog

I have found an injured / sick hedgehog, what should I do?

Make sure the animal is secure. (Tip: put a bucket or box over the hedgehog or it may be gone when you get back to it!). Find a box or container and line it with newspaper or an old towel. Using a pair of gloves gently pick up the hedgehog and put it in the box and cover it loosely with a towel or torn newspaper. Put the box somewhere safe and out of direct sunlight (but please ensure the hedgehog is kept warm as an ill hedgehog cannot generate heat for itself). If there is room in the box, you may put in a small dish / saucer of water, but do not feed the hedgehog. Then please either take it to the Animal Shelter, or call the GSPCA on 01481 257261.

What if I see a hedgehog out during the day?

Hedgehogs are nocturnal; they should not be out during the day. If you see a hedgehog in the open during the day it is sick and needs immediate help (even if it just appears to be sleeping on your lawn / patio).

IF YOU SEE A HEDGEHOG OUT DURING THE DAY, SECURE IT (SEE ABOVE), THEN CONTACT OR BRING TO THE ANIMAL SHELTER IMMEDIATELY.

Crusty looking growth on hedgehogs (Mange)

Hedgehogs can be afflicted with mange. This is a crusty looking deposit on the hedgehog, often around the head / face and underside. It can appear that the hedgehog is going 'mouldy' or covered in dried mud. This is a reaction by the hedgehog to the parasitical mange mite. This condition will eventually kill the hedgehog as the encrustation restricts the hedgehog’s mobility. However, mange is a condition that is easily treated with medication.

It is important to spot and treat mange as early as possible. If you suspect a hedgehog might have mange, secure it, then contact or bring to the Animal Shelter immediately.

I have found a hedgehog that will not uncurl, is it dead?

During the winter you may find completely rolled up hedgehogs that will not uncurl. They may appear to be dead but can actually be in deep hibernation.

 

If You Spot A Seal Pup

If you find a seal pup that looks FIT AND HEALTHY and it shows no signs of distress, you may consider monitoring it from a safe distance for 24 hours. Unfortunately, too many seal pups get taken into captivity because people think they have been abandoned. If the mother does not return within 24 hours, the GSPCA would ask you to contact 01481 257261.

A healthy pup looks like a big, stuffed maggot without a neck. However, a thin pup looks sleek (but not bony) and has a visible neck, like a healthy dog.

PLEASE DO NOT TOUCH THE SEAL. They can give a nasty bite, which will become infected by bacteria that live in a seal’s mouths.

Note: Do not allow dogs or other animals to harass a seal.

If a seal is scared back into the water, it could then be washed out to sea by strong currents and be lost. You should not put a seal pup back in the sea as it may get into difficulty.

If a seal pup is sick, thin or injured then the GSPCA would ask you to contact our 24-hour cruelty and advice line.

When reporting an injured, sick or abandoned seal to the GSPCA, please make sure you are able to supply the following information:

  • Exact location; nearest town / village
  • Position on the beach, and state of the tide
  • How long you have observed the pup; any disturbance / risk to it; whether the mother has been seen
  • Any wounds / obvious signs of illness
  • Length/colour/condition.

 

Caution: Handling of any animal either domestic, wild, dead or alive may be potentially hazardous. Obvious dangers include bites, scratches and general hygiene issues. Common sense should be applied in all instances and, if unsure, seek additional advice or assistance. Personal hygiene should be taken into consideration after handling any animal, whether it’s domestic, wild, dead or alive.

For any questions please contact 01481 257261.

Please remember and keep your animals and pets safe during the high winds, especially those that are kept outdoors.

For further wildlife advice please click here http://www.gspca.org.gg/animals/wildlife-advice

To see their release on youtube go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=02WBNXmijTQ

To see them on the pool at the GSPCA https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5627B1gyAeo

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