Les Stocker, founder of St Tiggywinkles Wildlife Hospital has died aged 73.
A statement from the Haddenham hospital, a internationally renowned charity which cares for sick and injured wild animals, read: “It is with great shock and immense sadness that we announce the passing of Les Stocker. Les passed away after a short and sudden illness on the return journey of his holiday.
“First and foremost, Les leaves his wife Sue, son Colin, daughter in-law Verity and two beloved grand-daughters Amelia and Alexia. Our thoughts are with them, his two sisters and rest of his family at this very difficult time.
“The loss will be greatly felt to the world of wildlife.
“Les was a steadfast ambassador, achieving his goal to turn wildlife rehabilitation into a profession, to have it recognised by other professionals and to ensure wherever possible, that all casualties have the best treatment in order to return back to their natural habitat.
“Over the lifetime of his work Les has inspired other individuals and organisations to rise to the challenge of rehabilitating wildlife. In addition to working very long hours hands-on, he wrote books, papers and attended conferences to establish the importance and furtherance of rehabilitation. His tireless dedication has changed the way the world sees and deals with sick and injured wildlife.
“He has built an incredible organisation, one that will strive to continue his legacy. Amongst his many achievements were an MBE, being honoured by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons as an Honorary Associate, the title of Rolex Laureate, two bestselling books, a regular newspaper column, he was an invited member of the New York Academy of Science and was widely recognised as one of the World’s leading authorities on British wildlife.
“The wonderful team at Tiggywinkles will continue through these sad times. As a charity with a family feel, the loss of this truly remarkable man will be immeasurable.”