'Roadkill clinic' to see students care for injured wildlife

YOU could say it is the UK's first "roadkill clinic".

Animals which would normally have been left for dead are being brought back to life with the opening of a pioneering emergency wildlife hospital in the Lothians.

The clinic, which treats any wild animal with an injury, opened its doors at Edinburgh University's Royal Dick Veterinary School near Roslin, Midlothian.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Wildlife such as badgers, foxes, swans, ducks and birds are all catered for, whatever their injury.

Since the hospital got up and running last week, head vet and lecturer Emma Keeble, 39, has treated three deer that were run down on the roads.

Each injured deer was brought to the centre in the back of a police van, acting as its ambulance.

The animals, which will be housed in a special unit of the vet training centre, will be tended to by final-year students, and fed and watered by first-year undergraduates.

Ms Keeble, from West Linton, said: "In the past we've looked after all sorts, including a swan that had swallowed some Christmas decorations and a badger that boarded a school bus.

"But we want to invite people to bring in any injured animal that they find, whether they discover it by the road or in their garden.

"We're expecting to get all sorts of things. The most common at the moment will probably be birds, especially fledglings, that have been caught by cats.

"Obviously a lot of animals injured on the roads will also be coming through the doors, but we're not recommending that people try and haul a deer into the back of their car and bring it to us.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

"People should call us first or call the SSPCA for assistance."

The centre, which is funded by the university, is open every day from 9am to 5pm, but there is a 24-hour emergency line for more serious cases.

Treatment for all wild animals is free, although it is hoped that the public will offer donations.

More than 100 students are on a rota to work at the centre, and six will be on call every week.

Ms Keeble said: "It works well for the students because they get to learn how to look after wildlife, when it's usually domesticated animals they train with. It'll offer valuable experience and means that a lot of animals that would have often died get another chance.

"Students have been raising money to help run the centre and have so far made 500."

She added: "Hopefully the centre will encourage people to bring animals in.

"Sometimes people panic when they find an injured wild animal because they don't know what to do with it, but now they'll have a place to go."