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Horace the heron gets lucky break from Norfolk police officer

PUBLISHED: 11:01 07 August 2015 | UPDATED: 16:47 12 October 2015

Meet Horace the heron, who got a police escort to a Hemsby animal centre after he broke his leg.

The wounded waterbird was found at the roadside in Caister by a family of holidaymakers who drove him to Caister police station.

Horace’s rescuers struggled to understand directions to Foxy Lodge wildlife rescue centre,

so a policeman drove there – with Horace and the family tailing

him.

John Garner, who runs Foxy Lodge with his wife Tonia, said that Horace was recovering well after his unusual arrival.

His damaged leg has been splinted and he is enjoying plenty of meals of his favourite fish.

“He’s a lot perkier now than

he was,” said Mr Garner. “We’d

like to think he’ll make a full recovery to be released back into the wild, but it will take several weeks to do that.”

He said that Horace was concussed when he arrived last month, but that had passed and he was now very alert.

“He makes a funny noise like a foghorn when you try to move him,” revealed Mr Garner. “The feathers on top of his head all come up.”

Horace arrived at Foxy Lodge in Newport Road on the same day as Sooty the seagull, who spent a week wedged in a Gorleston chimney.

The unfortunate creature was perched on top of the home when he slipped down the chimney and got stuck halfway.

He eventually fell into the fireplace, which was boarded up, and the homeowner phoned Foxy Lodge for help - with Mr Garner bringing Sooty back in a cat carrier.

“He was black with soot –he really was black,” said Mr Garner. “I got him back here at night and we got him a cat litter tray full of water and the water just went black.

“The next morning he was charcoal coloured. He was very thin.

“How he survived for a week I do not know.”

Sooty, who is one of 72 seagulls taken in by Foxy Lodge in the last seven weeks, has made a full recovery.

Sharing a home with them is Bailey the rare albino hedgehog, who recently celebrated his first birthday.

Bailey was five weeks old when he arrived at the centre in 2014, and due to the dusty garden at the centre his true colour is not immediately obvious.

“He looks a bit darker than he actually is,” said Mr Garner. “Being so light coloured they do leave themselves open to standing out and they are open to foxes and birds of prey, and even other hedgehogs possibly could attack him, so we’re not taking the chance of releasing him into the wild.

“He’s a good, healthy hedgehog and will live in the garden now until the weather changes, then he’ll come back inside.”

Foxy Lodge is in its seventh year, took in 803 animals last year and expects more than 900 this year.

To donate to the centre, see www.foxylodge.yolasite.com/

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