Useful Wildlife Tips Injured wild animals are very easily stressed, and may react badly to being moved or even touched. Some, such as seals,  badgers, foxes, birds of prey and seabirds (especially gannets), may also be dangerous and should always be approached with  caution. If in doubt, leave them where they are and seek expert help. Swans and other wildfowl are vulnerable to various types of  pollution in our rivers and seas. If you notice signs of pollution  report it immediately to the authorities. Never try to clean oiled  birds yourself as this is a specialised job. If the bird can be  caught safely and easily, place it in a well ventilated cardboard  box in a warm place until help arrives.  “Angel wing” is a disorder in  wildfowl which causes the feathers  on the tip of the wing  to grow at  the wrong angle, which prevents  the bird from flying. It can affect  one or both wings and is thought to be a genetic problem.Sometimes  these feathers can break causing a  little bleeding. Swans with this  condition will generally be able to  survive if they have a safe retreat. Your local wildlife rescue  organisation will probably be aware of resident swans with this  condition as they will often receive well-meaning reports from  the public. Unless the swan is showing signs of injury, such as a  hanging wing which might indicate a breakage, and is not in any  danger, there is no need to be concerned. Hedgehogs born late in the year are  often too small and undernourished to survive hibernation. If found they  should be fed and cared for until they  reach a weight of at least 750g. Feed  hedgehogs with dog or cat food mixed with water, but do not give them  cows’ milk. In autumn turn over piles  of garden leaves before burning  them, as a hedgehog may already  have built its winter nest among them.  Fledglings which are not yet able to  fly should be left alone unless obviously  injured or in immediate danger from  predators such as cats. The parents are  probably nearby and will return when  you leave. Never disturb nesting birds  as this may lead to the eggs or  nestlings being permanently  abandoned. Bats become ‘torpid’ during poor  weather, allowing their body  temperature to fall as a way of  conserving vital energy. In such cases a  bat that appears sick will often recover  if gently warmed in the hand. There is a  network of local Bat Groups throughout  the UK which will look after stray and injured bats.  Some bats can bite and transmit rabies to humans. Only  if the bat is in a vulnerable position should it be moved  to a place of safety, and then great care should be taken  and leather gardening gloves be worn by the rescuer. Seals which show no obvious  signs of injury should always be  left alone. Even seal pups can  inflict a nasty bite, and children  and dogs should be kept away.  Pups which appear to have been  abandoned are often only resting on the beach while the mother waits nearby in the water  to feed them.   Remember that it is easier to prevent injuries to wildlife than to treat them.  Never leave litter such as plastic bags, cans, broken glass or old fishing tackle lying around. Avoid using slug pellets and chemicals  in the garden. Feed birds in winter and give them fresh, unfrozen water to drink. In spring provide them with 'predator-safe'  nesting boxes. All incidents of wildlife crime should be reported to the Wildlife Liaison Officer at your nearest police  Cases of nest-robbing or of deliberate injury to protected birds can be reported to the RSPB Investigations Branch. Useful contact numbers  BSWT - 01289 302 882     RSPB - 01767 680 551     RSPCA - 0870 5555 999     SSPCA - 0131 339 0111