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Day-old squirrel fighting for life in Hemsby wildlife centre

PUBLISHED: 12:35 08 August 2014 | UPDATED: 12:35 08 August 2014

baby squirrel

baby squirrel

Three blind mice, a day-old squirrel, baby birds and gulls that can’t fly - a Hemsby wildlife centre is taking in more animals than ever before.

Foxy Lodge rescue centre, run by husband and wife John and Tonia Garner, is appealing for help as their headquarters, which is also their home, gets busier and busier. Last year, they took in 537 animals but this year, it is expected to be more than 750.

Last weekend, they took in a newborn squirrel and a three-day-old robin.

“Some of the wildlife come to us so small and newly born that it is difficult to know what they are until they are a little older,” admitted John.

“This is especially true of garden birds. The baby robin was picked up by a dog while out walking on a lead without the owners knowledge until it was gently placed on the kitchen floor by a dog just back from his walk.

“The one-day old squirrel weighed just 20 grams on arrival making her the smallest baby squirrel we have taken in during the six years we have been running. She was found next to her dead mother, and was in the process of being moved to a safer place, having been disturbed by some building works taking place.”

Three of the newest arrivals at the Newport Road rescue centre are three baby mice, so young their eyes are still closed.

They were accidently dug up while someone was gardening and are now being hand fed on Esbilac, a milk replacement, until they are able to wean on to solids such as biscuit crumbs.

John and Tonia, who last year adopted Barney the blind fox cub because he could not be released back into the wild, hope other animal-lovers will now help rehome some of their other permanent residents.

“In order for Foxy Lodge to remain an operational wildlife rescue centre we are looking to free up some very valuable space by finding permanent homes for some of the birds we have in which will never fly again,” said John.

“All of these birds have got a good quality of life but due to slight wing problems can not be released back in to the wild.

“We have some walking seagulls, pigeons, jackdaws and crows needing homes. We also have a number of healthy flying ex-racing pigeons we would like to find good homes for.”

Foxy Lodge has seen an increase in arrivals following changes at other wildlife charities elsewhere in Norfolk; the Seal and Bird Rescue Trust near North Walsham has not been able to take in any animals for a numnber of month, the Norwich-based Swan and Water Bird Rescue closed last year and hedgehog rescue groups in North Walsham, Fakenham and Erpingham have all closed too.

If you can help Foxy Lodge by rehoming call 01493 384237 (emergency calls until 9pm) or visit

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