International wildlife charity Born Free is best-known for its work with big cats - but this week it came to the aid of a frightened kingfisher.
The brightly-coloured bird was found injured in a back garden in Horsham on Friday by a local resident who was shocked to discover that it had been caught by a cat. He quickly scooped up the injured bird and rushed it to Farthings Veterinary Surgery in Guildford Road, Horsham, where it was assessed and kept safe for the afternoon.
The surgery then contacted Tarnya Knight from the Horsham-based Born Free charity who is experienced in rescuing and re-habilitating British wildlife. She often looks after injured birds and animals before they can be placed at wildlife rescue centres for rehabilitation and release back into the wild.
Despite Tarnya’s wide experience, the kingfisher was a first for her. She said: “She was lovely – I was struck by her amazing orange legs. They are such fragile creatures and sometimes the stress of being in captivity can be too much for them to survive, so we were all hoping she’d pull through.”
Kingfishers are fairly common around the British countryside, and locally they can be found at Warnham Nature Reserve. However, those hoping to spot their electric blue and orange plumage are advised to be patient, as they are incredibly elusive.
Tarnya added: “The kingfisher was taken to Folly Wildlife Rescue in Kent where she will receive the expert care and attention she needs. The latest update is that she is very bright and feeding well and hopefully will be released back to where she was found soon.”