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27 November 2014
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Nature

Woman hand rearing badger cub
Rescued cub Finchie

Wildlife Rescue

Owls and badgers are the stars of Springwatch, currently on BBC 2, but like all wildlife they quite often find themselves in trouble, requiring help from one of the county's wildlife rescue organisations.

Not many people get the chance to get quite so close to baby owls as Katrina Myers.  This time of the year, many find their way to Colchester Owl Rescue when the adult birds get killed and don't go back to find the youngsters.  At four or five weeks, when the nest is too small for them, they often fall or climb out of the nest and end by falling to the ground.

Young tawny owl
Tawny owl, Barney

Katrina is currently looking after three young tawny owls, Fred, Barney and Wilma.  It's a bit early in the year for tawny owls, the warmer weather earlier in the year, means that wildlife are breeding earlier. 

Little owls are fairly accident prone as they're out and about during the day.  They can often be seen sitting in the middle of the road.  The road is heated by the sun and you'll get a large variety of insects flying over the road which is what the little owls are coming down for.

Unfortunately, Katrina is sometimes called out to injured owls - some can be in a terrible state.  The first thing they suffer with is concussion and shock - concussion can last for a few days or several weeks.  Apart from concussion, they can often have broken bones or badly bruised which can lead to infection if they're left in the wild.

Two badger cubs
The group also looks after badgers

Most people, when they find an injured animal, call the RSPCA.  The RSPCA was set up to look after pet animals - wildlife isn't a big priority - in lots of cases it's often better to call individual rescue groups.  The RSPCA is dealing with hundreds of calls a day, whereas someone like Katrina might only get half a dozen calls.  It makes all the difference in getting to the animal and treating it as quickly as possible.

audio Listen: Nature Trail (01/06/07) >
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last updated: 01/06/07
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