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Secret World Wildlife Rescue is a fantastic volunteer based rescue charity situated in the Somerset. As the only 24/7 animal rescue charity in the South-West, Secret World has rescued on average 4000 animals per year since it was set up in 1992. They specialise in rescue, rehabilitation and eventual release, and have a team of around 623 volunteers that help out with everything from the day-to-day care of the animals up to going out and rescuing the animals.
Like any charity, Secret World relies on charitable donations to continue running their rescue vehicles and caring for the animals, as the numbers they take on each year can cause a large drain on resources, as well as the employment of trained animal careers and vet nurses with strong commitment to providing medication, veterinary care and time to recover. The fundraisers need to raise a total of £1,000 a day in order to maintain the standards that they work to.
Debbie O’Keefe, the Fundraising Co-ordinator at Secret World, had this to say:
‘I have chosen this story of one of the deer fawns that came in this summer from Teignmouth near Devon. The little fallow fawn was found cold and hungry on the side of the road and it was feared that the mother may have perished.
Fawns are one of the most difficult orphans to rear as they are so incredibly nervous, which is why it’s essential upon their arrival at Secret World that they have an allocated member of staff assigned to their care; in this case it was to be Sara Cowen, our animal care Manager. The fallow fawn was named Whispa as she was chocolate brown in colour when she first arrived. Whispa was not on her own as she was joined by a roe deer fawn called Big Girl, as it is always great for them to have the company of another fawn even from a different species.
A bond is created between orphan and carer that enables the fawn to feed and grow without attachment to other human beings. Sadly many fawns are picked up unnecessarily as their mothers will wander off and graze and leave their babies usually well hidden in the grass. Our instinct is to pick these animals up but we will always ask people to seek advice first before picking up a fawn just in case mum isn’t far away. If the fawn is in immediate danger from dogs or from farm machinery then it is unavoidable and the fawn must be picked up and taken into a wildlife rescue centre as soon as possible.
The fawns at Secret World are reared on lamb’s milk, which is the most natural substitute to their mother’s milk and will be eating other browse and vegetation straight away. Both deer are being released on to a private estate in the next few weeks and so Secret World has achieved its ultimate goal which is to rescue, rehabilitate and release animals back into the wild where they belong.’
Secret World also open up their doors for the public to see what it is they do for the animals under their care, but they also take visits out to schools in order to educate children about how best to care for their local wildlife. Just last year they managed 27 visits to schools, meaning that 2,700 schoolchildren have been educated in how to care for and look after their local environments.
You can help the Secret World Wildlife Rescue by visiting their website, http://www.secretworld.org and donating to them. A donation means a definite meal for another rescue animal, or funding towards a medical procedure. Every little helps, and you can do so much by donating just a small amount. You can also help by signing up to do some volunteer work, buying some merchandise or even by ‘adopting’ an animal. All of these will be such a great help to a fantastically hard working charity, so please take a moment to visit their site and see how you can help.
Images by Mark Atherton
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