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Cats and dogs attacking wildlife - Bats, swans and deer

25/07/2009 23:18:04

Kathy Martyn with the injurd swan. Credit WRAS

2 bats, a deer fawn and a swan treated for injuries caused by pets

July 2009. East Sussex Wildlife Rescue & Ambulance Service (WRAS) is appealing for cat and dog owner to be more careful with their pets after dealing with three badly injured casualties in less than 24 hours.

WRAS was called to two bats which had been attacked by cats in separate incidents. The first was a Brown Long-eared bat found at Framfield, which was luckily only bruised with a few nasty cuts and rips to the wing membranes; the second was a Natterers Bat found at Westmeston.

WRAS rescuer Trevor Weeks and Kathy Martyn attended and checked both bats over before delivering them to Jenny Clark at the Sussex Bat Hospital at Forest Row. Unfortunately the Natterers Bat was too badly injured and had to be euthanised.

Swan attacked by a dog
The following day WRAS rescuer Tony Neads responded to a call to a badly injured swan attacked by a dog in Eastbourne. Tony rushed to the swan to WRAS Founder Trevor Weeks who was able to give emergency medication and treatment so that Tony could deliver the swan safely to the Swan Sanctuary at Shepperton, where waiting specialist veterinary staff were on hand to deal with the swan's injuries.

Brown Long-eared bat that had been attacked by a cat. Credit WRAS

Brown Long-eared bat that had been attacked by a cat. Credit WRAS

"This has to be one of the nastiest wounds I've ever seen whilst I have been volunteering with WRAS" explained WRAS rescuer Tony Neads, " I had to be careful catching and carrying the swan to avoid causing any further damage."

"This is certainly one of the worst cases we have had in a long time and we understand from staff at the Swan Sanctuary that they may not be able to save the swan's wing." added Trevor Weeks founder of WRAS.

Deer fawn attacked by a dog
Last week WRAS also responded to a baby deer that had been attacked and injured by a dog. WRAS is urging dog owners to be careful in areas where there are swans as many are now going through a moult and some of them can't fly as a result.

"Deer fawn being treated after suffering in an attack by a dog. Credit WRAS." Moulting swans cannot fly away
"Every year swans go through a moult which is why there are so many feathers on the ground. Some swans will loose all of their flight feathers and will not be able to fly as a result. This makes they very vulnerable to attacks from dogs, foxes and even." said Trevor.

WRAS is also urging cat owners to bring their cats in an hour before sunset so that bats can emerge undisturbed. For those who find it difficult keeping their cats in at night throughout the summer, The Bat Conservation Trust urges cat owners to try it at least from mid June till the end of August, as this is when baby bats are being reared. If a cat has already caught a bat it is possible it has found a roost and may return to it night after night when it will continue to kill more and more bats each visit. In these circumstances it is important to keep the cat in all night.

More information and advice is available on bats and swan via WRAS's website at, and also at

Appeal for funds
WRAS is restricted on what it can attend at the moment due to a lack of funds but is trying to help as many people as it can afford to. If you can help keep WRAS on the road please make a donation online at or post a donation to East Sussex WRAS, PO Box 2148, Seaford, East Sussex, BN25 9DE.


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