September 2015 Admissions & Updates

Red Kite makes a flying visit at HART!
At the start of September we had a very exciting visit from the RSPCA.  They often bring us injured or orphaned wildlife that their collection officers have picked up from concerned members of the public.  This delivery was a little different to usual as it was a magnificent Red Kite- a bird that none of our staff have seen at the hospital before!  We were very glad to find it in good health, after apparently having ‘fallen out of a tree’.  Being such a highly strung bird of prey, it was very stressed in the hospital and after eating and passing a flight test, it was sent back to its home range a couple of days later with the RSPCA all the way to Didcot!

This is one of our 6 baby squirrels having one of its milk feeds. He is just over 3 weeks old and has to be fed every 4 hours with puppy milk called Esbilac. We use this milk formula as the lactose in cow’s milk affects their digestive system. All 6 squirrels are thriving and have settled in well at the hospital. 
Due to them being born later in the year they will probably have to spend the winter in a specialised squirrel aviary. Since there is a lack of available food during winter squirrels spend a lot of time leading up to this collecting and burying food, this is called ‘caching’. If the temperatures get very low then squirrels are less active to conserve energy and only venture out to get their food. Fortunately, here at HART Wildlife we have a squirrel license so this enables us to rehabilitate them and release them when the weather is appropriate.

The last two of this summer's young small garden birds were released - including Simon the sparrow who came in as a bald hatchling! That's the end of the hourly feeds for this year.

Our last ducklings of the year were released last week, three tufted ducks back to the National Trust site where they were found.


  1. Frances Cook

    Grey squirrels are listed on schedule 9 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. Section 14 of that Act makes it an offence to release, or allow escape, into the wild any grey squirrel.
    I know this because while at University, I helped rescue a grey squirrel that had been hit by the car. The squirrel had broken its back and had to be put down but the RSPCA man said that even if it hadn’t broken its back, they could not legally release the squirrel back into the wild and it would have to go to a sanctuary.

    • Laura Martin

      This is true, and luckily HART is one of the few wildlife rescues in the country which has gained a licence to keep and release a limited number of grey squirrels, in designated approved sites.

  2. Michelle van Vuuren

    If only the mentality of the grey squirrel situation would evolve! The cruelty the current legislation allows people to inflict on these innocent and beautiful creatures is heartbreaking (having lived next door to a man who loved to shoot them for many years, broke my heart!). They were deliberately imported from America over a hundred years ago now and are blamed for the red squirrel decline which is untrue as the red squirrel was hunted for their fur until numbers were so depleted, replacement red squirrels were imported from Europe ! I can see no logic in the manner that it is classed as “vermin” when it was deliberately imported, a fox falls into the same “vermin” category but it is native to this country. Pheasants, which were imported from India, so people could shoot them are not classed as vermin and they roam freely. Rabbits were deliberately infected with the awful myxomatosis disease to control their numbers which exploded due to their natural predator, the fox, being cruelly hunted with dogs which tear these beautiful animals apart, limb for limb. Do the people who make these ridiculous “wildlife conservation” laws know what they are doing!???

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