Secret World Wildlife Rescue specialises in the rescue, rehabilitation & eventual release of orphaned & injured wild creatures. It is run entirely on donations & runs a wildlife rescue service in the South West of England. Our mission is to undertake the care & rehabilitation of orphaned, injured & otherwise distressed wildlife and to return all creatures, to the wild or find them suitable homes.
The first otter cub rescued by Secret World Wildlife Rescue this year has returned to the rescue centre to continue its recovery with another otter.
Amoré the otter was rescued by the charity in February. After a period of recovery under the care of staff at Secret World, Amoré was transferred to another animal care centre to be paired with another orphaned otter.
Amoré has been brought back to Secret World for the next stage of her rehabilitation along with another orphaned otter called Amico.
The decision to bring both of them back to Secret World was made after the other animal rescue centre did not have the capacity to care for the two otters.
Secret World Founder, Pauline Kidner, said: “Otters are sociable animals and Amoré needed a friend to play with. Staff were sad to say goodbye to her but knew how lonely she would be if kept on her own. After contacting other animal rescue centres, we managed to find Amico to cohabit with Amoré.
“We are delighted to see Amoré back with us. Having a friend and playmate will enhance the rehabilitation of both animals and we’re pleased to say they’re a good match!”
Secret World Wildlife Rescue boasts state-of-the-art pre-release facilities for orphaned otters after it received a funding grant in 2010 from W.F. Southall Trust. The facilities were designed to care for the animals over a long period of time.
Amoré and Amico will continue to cohabit and recover together for the next 18 months under the supervision of Secret World staff. Over that time, they will learn how to swim and catch fish to ensure they are prepared for their release next year.
Once they are ready to be released, the charity will find a suitable and safe site for them.
Businesses in Somerset have been doing their bit to help injured animals, according to Secret World Wildlife Rescue.
The charity has rescued three injured and poorly animals in the past couple of weeks after being alerted by businesses in Highbridge and Bridgwater.
CJK Car Repairs in Highbridge contacted Secret World after staff found a hedgehog covered in oil. Secret World founder Pauline Kidner brought the hedgehog back to the charity’s animal centre.
After a thorough wash the hog, named CJ, was given a clean bill of health and will be released soon.
The charity also received a separate call from Queenswood Natural Foods in Bridgwater whose staff had found a poorly gull. Secret World transported the bird back to the charity’s centre for a full assessment. Charity staff diagnosed it with botulism – a potentially fatal disease that occurs when toxic bacteria are ingested.
Animal carers at Secret World suspect it came from eating bad meat. Following treatment the bird is expected to make a full recovery.
Secret World was also called to Morrisons in Bridgwater after a gull entered the store and hid behind some shelves in the clothing department. After removing the shelves with help from supermarket staff, Pauline managed to catch the gull and take it back for assessment.
Unharmed by the ordeal, the gull was released the same day.
Pauline Kidner commented: “As a charity, we rely on calls from the public and businesses to tell us about animals in need of our professional care. It’s important for us to provide a speedy response and help the animal as quickly as possible.
“The sooner we know about an injured animal, the sooner we can treat them. Thank you to everyone who has helped us save an animal in their hour of need.”
If you find a wild animal in distress, call Secret World on 01278 783250. The charity is open from 8am until 8pm, seven days a week.
A three-week-old tawny owlet matted with fly eggs is on the road to recovery thanks to animal rescue specialists at Secret World Wildlife Rescue.
Concerned members of the public had spotted the owlet at the bottom of a tree during a late-night walk around Glastonbury Tor two weeks ago.
The owlet was brought to the charity’s centre in East Huntspill, Somerset, by Graeme Thompson, one of Secret World’s volunteer response drivers.
After a good bath
Once the bird was back at the charity’s centre, Katie Gibbs, animal carer at Secret World, attempted to remove the eggs with fluid therapy without success. Charity staff decided that the only way to remove them thoroughly was with neat washing up liquid, a fine toothbrush and a shower, which worked brilliantly.
After sitting under a heat lamp to dry out, the owlet was transferred to an incubator overnight to keep warm. By the following morning it had returned to a fluffier state and was eating well.
Warm and dry…and a lot happier!
Otis the baby owl will continue to be cared for by Laura Benfield, the centre’s Head of Animal Care, over the summer until its release. Before it’s released, the charity will conduct a specialist eye test and admit it into its pre-release flight pen to strengthen its wings.
A leading animal charity in the South West is warning the public about the dangers plastic materials pose to animals.
After a recent spike in animal admissions with plastic-related injuries, Secret World Wildlife Rescue in East Huntspill, Somerset, is calling for the public to use outdoor plastic materials in a responsible and animal-friendly way.
Over the last month, the charity has rescued three animals with life threatening injuries sustained by plastic materials – a badger, a hedgehog and a heron.
Last month the charity was called to a garden in Spaxton, Somerset, to rescue a heron trapped in pond netting. The plastic netting was used by the property owners to protect the fish in their pond. Thankfully, the charity’s team were able to untangle the distressed bird and release it back into the wild.
Pauline Kidner, Secret World Wildlife Rescue’s founder, commented: “Thanks to our animal care team, all of the animals we’ve rescued with plastic-related injuries recently have survived. However, these kinds of rescues are far too common, and a lot of the cases we deal with are preventable.
“Without intervention by us, the animals wouldn’t survive. I understand that some forms of plastic are required for garden and house use, but we would like to encourage everyone to think about the impact it might have on animals nearby.
“We’d particularly like to encourage people to pick up any plastic waste material, such as plastic carrier bags, wrappers or discarded fishing line, in public areas and dispose of it in a bin.”
Certain types of plastic materials pose a greater danger to different animals. Plastic wiring and netting are particularly hazardous to birds.
“Birds are quite erratic, so they easily can become trapped by the smallest amount of netting. As they try to escape, they become more entangled. At that point, without professional attention, they’ll suffer a long and slow death, most likely by a lack of blood circulation or by suffocation,” said Pauline.
A fortnight ago the charity received another emergency call about a badger caught in some plastic netting. The young badger became trapped in a football net overnight near Milton, Somerset.
Before the charity’s response team arrived they could hear the animal screaming in pain. They took it back to their animal centre to free the badger from the netting. After a few days of rest and food, it was released back into the wild.
Last year, the charity rescued over 5,000 injured, sick and orphaned animals. To speak to Secret World in an emergency, call 01278 783250 or donate to help more injured wildlife find a place of safety with Secret World.
We had lots of young visitors on site this week for our Owlets session. Here at Secret World we believe in educating the younger generation, to inspire them to get outdoors and take an interest in nature. Owlets is our new under 5’s group, where our youngest supporters can learn more about wildlife and how to look after it. This week they were joined by a special guest, our barn owl Zazoo. He seemed to rather enjoy reading ‘The owl who was afraid of the dark’, and the children enjoyed learning more about him. Zazoo is one of our resident birds of prey, and goes out on talks in the community with our bird handlers. Like our other resident birds of prey he was bred in captivity and then came to us, so he cannot be released.
Otis recovering after his treatment
One casualty needing our help this week was Otis, a 3 week old tawny owl. He was found sitting at the bottom of a tree covered in flies. Our response driver Graeme went to his rescue, and when Otis arrived onsite animal carer Katie found that he was matted with fly eggs. After initial fluid therapy and painstakingly trying to remove the eggs without success, she decided that the only way to remove them thoroughly was with neat fairy liquid, a fine tooth brush and a shower. This worked brilliantly, however the poor little soul looked a sorry state! After sitting under a heat lamp for a while to dry out, he was transferred to an incubator overnight to keep warm. By morning he had returned to a fluffier state, and was eating well. Otis will stay with us until late summer when he will be released. In the meantime he will require lots of specialist food, a specialist eye test by the vet before he is released, and time in our pre-release flight pen to strengthen up his wings.
Our animal care staff and volunteers are being kept busy at the moment by the 74 corvids we currently have onsite. We have also had in 11 baby hoglets this week. Of those 7 are from the same litter, which is quite unusual!
The fundraising team have been busy planning for our Summer Party. This year the theme is Wildlife Wonders, and it takes place on Sunday August 26th and Monday August 27th. There will be fascinating talks about the animals we help, games and nature activities, stalls and face painting. We hope to see lots of you there, and are keeping our fingers crossed for a sunny day!
Secret World is celebrating the contributions of its volunteer network for Volunteers’ Week, which begins today.
Secret World Wildlife Rescue in East Huntspill, Somerset has a team of over 350 volunteers who assist the charity with fundraising, animal care and rescue, administration and laundry, amongst many other tasks.
As a charity with limited funds, the team at Secret World are reliant on the dedication of its volunteers, all of whom donate their time for free. The charity shop in Burnham-on-Sea has 12 volunteers alone!
Volunteers’ Week, which runs from 1st to 7th June 2018, is a time for organisations to express their gratitude to the millions of volunteers across the UK.
Duncan Cousens, Secret World’s Volunteer Manager, commented: “Volunteers are an integral part of our organisation and at this time of year we rely on at least 750 hours per week of donated time to help us on site.
“Our volunteers are the life blood of our charity. We would not be able to rescue and rehabilitate thousands of wildlife casualties each year without each and every one of them.
“Volunteers’ Week gives us the opportunity to thank all of these amazing people, who dedicate their precious time to helping sick, injured and orphaned wildlife throughout the year.”
One of the charity’s volunteers is Pat Munn, who has been helping the charity with its heavy laundry load for four years. With over 5,000 wildlife causalities each year coming through its doors, the charity’s washing baskets are constantly being filled.
The animals at the centre get through over 200 towels, teddies, blankets and fleeces every day and some of the animals need to be cleaned at least three times a day.
“Pat ensures our animals have a constant supply of clean bedding,” said Duncan. “Without Pat and the team’s help, our capacity to rescue injured animals would be significantly reduced.”
Duncan also paid tribute to the centre’s volunteer response drivers: “We depend on our volunteer response drivers based around the region to rescue and deliver sick and orphaned animals to the centre,” he said.
Last month the charity admitted over 720 wildlife casualties to its centre, which was only possible thanks to the commitment of its volunteer network.
Learn more about becoming a Secret World volunteer here, or call the centre on 01278 768704.
There’s been excitement onsite this week as we appeared in 3 episodes of Countryfile Diaries! The film crew spent 4 days with us a month ago and followed our work, from animal admissions through to the hospital rooms, rehabilitation and release. The stars of the show were definitely Fred and George, our badger cubs! They charmed the film crews, and probably a lot of the people watching! Viewers also saw Marion, our tiny fox cub and her friends, lots of birds in our hospital room, and Henry the hedgehog going back to the wild. Did you watch the show? If not you can catch up on BBC iplayer, we are in episodes 2, 3 and 4.
The first hoglets of 2018 arrived this week, and they really are tiny! The four of them were found in a garden crying for their mother, who hadn’t been seen for a long time. Ranging from 19.5 grams to 25 grams in weight they will need feeding and nurturing until they get stronger.
Our release manager Jamie and release coordinator Charlotte rushed to the aid of a trapped baby badger yesterday. He was taken to the vets as he was severely de-hydrated having been trapped all night crying out for help. We always have themes for naming our badger cubs, and this year a public vote chose the theme of Harry Potter characters. So this little cub has been called Nevil. Please send him your best wishes for a speedy recovery.
Back to the wild!
And finally we had another successful release this week, which is the reason we do what we do. This Canada goose was admitted after being hit by a golf ball on a local course. After pain relief and a stint of rest and rehabilitation, he was released back into the wild. On his return he was greeted by his mate and family. We do love a happy ending!
Secret World Wildlife Rescue in the South West is seeking new friends and supporters through its latest initiative to help it raise more money.
As the demand for animal rescue has increased over the last 25 years, Secret World Wildlife Rescue is starting a new Friendship Circle to help it meet the increasing costs of rescuing over 5,000 animals each year. The charity, based in East Huntspill, Somerset, is wholly reliant on the generosity of its supporters.
The new friendship circle aims to keep its supporters better informed in return for committed financial support. The initiative is being led by the charity’s founder Pauline Kidner.
Pauline commented: “Over a quarter of a century ago, Secret World was a tourist attraction as well as a wildlife hospital. Our frequent open days provided a strong source of revenue for the charity. Today, with the ever-increasing numbers of wildlife casualties arriving at our centre, we’re not in the position to open our doors to the public as regularly. Unfortunately, this has impacted our ability to raise funds.
“Our supporters are incredibly generous, so we are starting a new Friendship Circle to keep them better informed about the inspiring work our team undertakes 7-days a week, 365 days a year.
“Our charity has always operated purely from donations and we hope with the extra support of our friends, we will be able to meet the ever-increasing costs. Without them, we couldn’t save thousands of animals each year. We are endeavouring to remain true to our mission to help our wonderful wildlife thrive.”
Anyone wishing to know more details about the charity or is interested in becoming a ‘Friend of Secret World’ can visit www.secretworld.org or telephone 01278 783250 for more information.
Secret World Wildlife Rescue will feature in three episodes of Countryfile Spring Diaries on Tuesday 29th May, Wednesday 30th May and Thursday 31st May. All episodes will be shown at 9:15am on BBC One and can be watched on catch-up on iPlayer.
I never fail to be amazed at the generosity of the public! Here at Secret World we rely on people to support us, to enable us to care for the hundreds of animals each year that need our help. One thing that can be very expensive is feeding all our casualties. At the moment we have lots of fox and badger cubs on site. These require specialist puppy milk, and then when they are weaned they are fed puppy food. We put a request out to see if people could donate some tins, and were amazed by the response! This week alone we have received 384 tins and 624 pouches of puppy food, through our Amazon wish list. Thank you so much to everyone who donated, we are so grateful, and so are the animals! If you want to help us buying us something from our Amazon wish list is a quick and easy way to do so. You can see our wish list by visiting https://goo.gl/ppMw6A.
The baby heron
This week seems to be the week of Heron’s; as we had two arrive at our centre. One, a baby, had fallen out of its nest in Weston-super-Mare. On arrival he was assessed and found to be in shock, with no other obvious injuries, and was given fluids and weighed. Our animal carers then made the decision to transfer him to the RSPCA West Hatch centre in Taunton. In this case, the site is better suited for this young bird and the heron would be with others of its kind and be able to socialise. He was taken there the same day by one of our volunteer response drivers. It is important for us at Secret World to work closely with other animal centres, including RSPCA West Hatch, to ensure that the animals get the best treatment and rehabilitation support. Depending on capacity, where the expertise lies and appropriate facilities, animals are sometimes moved between wildlife centres in the interests of that individual animal and to give it the best chance of survival.
The trapped heron
The second heron had quite a traumatic story. The owners of a pond in Spaxton had been advised to protect their fishpond from a visiting heron by surrounding it with fishing line. However rather than discouraging the heron it had resulted in him becoming entangled and being unable to free himself. Our response driver Graeme managed to free it and transport it to Secret World, where our animal carer Dan worked to cut away the rest of the line. The heron was uninjured and will be released soon.
Finally we are ending this week with some exciting news. A few weeks ago we hosted a crew from Countryfile Diaries, who spent four days filming with us following casualty arrivals and the feeding of orphaned animals. We feature in three episodes, which will be shown on Tuesday 29th May, Wednesday 30th May and Thursday 31st May, at 9:15am on BBC One.
A leading animal rescue charity in the South West is set to feature in the new series of Countryfile Diaries on BBC One next week.
Secret World Wildlife Rescue in East Huntspill, Somerset, which is wholly reliant on the generosity of its supporters, hosted a film crew from the hit television show in April.
A BBC team spent four days filming with us following casualty arrivals, feeding and health checks and Countryfile Spring Diaries’ presenter Margherita Taylor, got first-hand experience of the intensive work that the charity’s animal carers do to look after wildlife casualties, which are rescued from across the South West.
The film crew was also given the opportunity to follow the journeys of many of Secret World’s orphaned animals, including badger cubs Fred and George and a tiny two week old fox cub.
Samantha Hannay, Head of External Relations at Secret World, commented: “Wildlife and our environment are under constant threat and our staff and volunteers do incredible work here, often round the clock, rescuing and rehabilitating wildlife casualties.“
“We couldn’t rescue over 5,000 animals each year without the generosity of animal lovers across the country. It costs us £1,500 pounds alone to rear an orphaned badger cub and we have over half a dozen badgers on site at present, among hundreds of other animals. Every penny truly helps.
“We hope that showing the work and passion of our team will encourage more people to support us and donate.”
The film crew also attended the release of a hedgehog in Bath and witnessed the terrible ordeal of a herring gull who was rescued with a large fishing lure and barb through its foot, beak and wing.
Secret World Wildlife Rescue will feature in three episodes of the flagship show on Tuesday 29th May, Wednesday 30th May and Thursday 31st May. All episodes will be shown at 9:15am on BBC One.