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HART wildlife 'can't take any more injured animals'
IT’S been an agonising decision – but a wildlife rescue centre has been forced to shut its doors to injured animals because it is full up.
HART Wildlife, which takes in many sick animals from the Basingstoke and Deane area, has been inundated within the last few months, and now has no space to help any more animals.
Charmian Greenland-Jones, manager at the centre, said: “We’ve had to keep closing off and on for several weeks now due to a lack of space for new patients and the staff/volunteers to look after them. The summer holidays inevitably means some of our regulars are not around for a week or two.”
She added: “Things are incredibly busy at the moment with lots of young mouths to feed so quite often the team have only just finished a round and they need to start again.”
There are 123 animals currently being treated at HART, including 18 baby hedgehogs found in the Basingstoke area.
Kristy Willis, wildlife clinical assistant, who is one of just three staff at HART in Medstead, said: “It’s just been too wet for the adults – there are a lot of sickly ones around – they’re just not strong enough to care for their young and we have been inundated with orphans.
“Hedgehogs like to be damp so they can forage for slugs but it’s just been too sodden for them to find food – some of their nests are getting flooded too.”
Staff have resorted to taking animals home to feed during the night, in an attempt to nurse them back to health and make space for new arrivals.
But their efforts were not enough and the decision to temporarily shut the centre to new admissions has been made on several occasions.
Mrs Greenland-Jones said: “We try to stay open for as long as possible because we know the facilities we offer are scarce and people will struggle to find anywhere else to take any casualties they find.
“We can’t bear the thought of perfectly viable animals dying when there is no-one to look after them. As soon as spaces become available, we will re-open.”
HART is fundraising to build a field development outside to put mammals and birds, and needs another £50,000. To donate, visit hartwildlife.org.uk.