Hedgehog – a rescue story


Hedgehogs are funny little creatures and truly wild at heart.
Every year we rescue many 100s of them to then release them back into the wild as soon as possible. You can often tell what season it is just by looking at the reasons they come to us: more strimmer and tool injuries in the spring and early summer, burn injuries from bonfires in late summer, and hoglets too small to hibernate in late autumn and at the start of winter.

Most years we will have between 100 and 250 overwintering with us at the Sanctuary and with foster carers. To successfully survive a long winter’s sleep they need to weigh around 600 grams or be the size of a grapefruit when curled up. This is because they won't have enough fat reserves to see them through the winter if not.

Hedgehogs often have a second litter late in the season and as these usually don’t have enough time to build up those important fat reserves, they end up in rescue centers to be released in the spring. If you find a hedgehog out during daytime or a baby hedgehog late in autumn, it usually needs to be picked up, secured in a box with a hot water bottle or similar, and brought to your nearest rescue center. If you are in doubt, just call and ask for advice! You will find more information under "I found an animal...."

One of the many rescue stories we want to share with you started with a phone call from a lady. She found a hedgehog stuck inside a watering can she had left outside in her garden. As it was tipped on its side, this hedgehog squeezed in only to find himself stuck. The lady found him a few days later and he then had hypothermia as he was sitting in about 1 inch of water. Luckily for this little hog, after being released from his watery prison and warmed up a bit he made a full recovery and was released a few weeks later.

The lesson here is to always look at your garden through an animal’s point of view; a watering-can might look tempting for a curious little hog!

Posted in Animal rescue stories, Front page top.