Love these guys! A great charity we support, are crowd funding to buy a new wildlife ambulance.
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“If you’ve ever had the need to call an ambulance, you’ll know exactly how it feels when one arrives – and the huge sense of relief it brings.
For wildlife though, it’s very much a different story, as although help, in the form of a dedicated hospital may well be at hand, getting a casualty to one is often extremely problematic.
And as is the case for people, the quicker you can get help, the better the chances of making a full recovery.
Here at the Broadwater Forest Wildlife Hospital, the Folly Wildlife Rescue Trust admit more than 3500 wildlife casualties every year – returning almost 70% of them back to the wild; but transport is one of biggest challenges we face, and it can really be a matter of life and death.
Fortunately, most of the casualties we receive are brought to us, but in other cases, the finder either doesn’t have transport, or circumstances simply don’t allow them to make the journey; in addition, large numbers of wildlife casualties are taken to vets, but because these don’t have the specialist knowledge or facilities to care for them, they call the Trust for assistance; and being busy practices, can’t spare the staff to bring them to us, so we need to collect them too.
To help overcome this problem, Folly rely heavily on some fifty Volunteer Collection Drivers across the region,who, using their own cars, pick up these animals and bring them to us. This is incredibly helpful, but there is one big problem – most of our volunteers have full-time jobs, and are therefore only available in the evenings or at weekends.
As a result, our reception staff can find themselves making ten or even fifteen phone calls in an attempt to find someone to pick up a badly injured animal – and at the end of it, still not find anyone free. This delay, as well as posing a real threat to the well-being of the casualty (through de-hyration, the onset of infection or shock), also ties up the emergency phone line for people trying to get help.
An hour or so later, the receptionist will try again, in the hope of finding a driver who is now free, but very often with no more success than the first time round – leaving them feeling completely helpless; quite often, a member of staff will then, as a last resort at the end of their shift, go and collect the casualty themselves, but by this time, many hours will have passed, and having had no treatment, a drink or any food, it can by then be in a very bad way.
Obviously, this situation needs to be addressed, and it has now been decided that the best option is for the Trust to obtain a small van, convert it into a wildlife ambulance, set up a small body of volunteers based at the hospital, and when these situations arise, collect the casualties and bring them straight in.
The van will also carry rescue equipment (nets, swan hook, animal stretcher, bolt cutters, waders and graspers) so that if a casualty needs rescuing (hedgehogs caught in netting, owls stuck down chimneys, geese entangled in fishing line etc), our volunteers will be able to carry them out, saving valauable time.
We estimate it will cost £8,000 to buy a clean, low-mileage van, and another £2000 to kit it out with rescue equipment – and that’s where we need your help. Any donation, however small, is greatly appreciated and, because crowdfunding relies on lots of people getting involved, we’d also be very grateful if you could send the link to this page to friends and family and ask them to do the same.”