Animal charity struggles to cope as hot weather increases demand

PUBLISHED: 08:00 22 July 2018

A gull taken in at Secret World Wildlife Rescue with sunburnt feet.

A gull taken in at Secret World Wildlife Rescue with sunburnt feet.


A wildlife rescue charity is struggling to cope with demand as warm weather is putting more animals’ health at risk.

One of the leading animal rescue charities in the South West has been inundated with animal rescues over the summer as temperatures sore in Britain.

Secret World Wildlife Rescue has more than 700 animals under its specialist care.

More than 250 of which are gulls, a species which is especially struggling with the weather conditions.

Herring gulls have been arriving at the centre almost by the hour over the past fortnight.

Hot surfaces and a lack of shade are causing many of the birds to be brought in with severe sunburn on their feet.

Charity founder Pauline Kidner said the rescue was ‘extremely busy’ and it is ‘all hands on deck’.

She added: “With so many animals needing to come in, some of our drivers have been out every day for the past three weeks.

“We have some animals such as badgers which are ready to be released but until the ground softens, there is no food out there for them, which is delaying their release.

“This increases the amount of work to be done as well as the ongoing costs required to care for them.

“We have a fantastic volunteer network, but we would love to hear from people who are interested in helping us throughout the summer.”

As the weather continues to 
stay warm with no end in sight, Secret World is urging people to put our fresh water each day for wildlife and to consider feeding them until there is enough rain to enable them to forage for themselves.

Samantha Hannay, head of external relations, said: “We are caring for 80 hedgehogs at the moment, which is an unusually high number for this time of the year.

“Both adults and young alike are struggling to find sufficient food and water, so extra provisions can be a lifesaver.

“With the stretch on resources, we would welcome food donations and extra help.

“Financial donations to assist with the cost of increased water bills and veterinary treatment would also be very gratefully received.”

To find out more, to volunteer or to donate, visit or call 01278 783250.

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