Letter: Acting quickly could save hedgehog’s life
This letter sent to the Star was written by British Hedgehog Preservation Society, www.britishhedgehogs.org.uk
The British Hedgehog Preservation Society has issued a plea for people to keep an eye out for hedgehogs in need of help. Hedgehogs are nocturnal so should not normally be out in the daylight. There are some exceptions to that rule, for example if a nest has been disturbed and the hedgehog is relocating, or if a busy mum is taking a break from the nest. However, these hedgehogs would be moving quickly ‘with purpose’.
Fay Vass, Chief Executive of the Charity said “We frequently get calls from members of the public who have been watching a hedgehog that’s been lay still in their garden for days. By the time we get the call and the person gets the hedgehog to rescue, it’s often too late. Hedgehogs don’t sunbathe! If you see a hedgehog lay still in the open, or with flies round it or if it’s struggling to walk properly, it is in urgent need of rescue.”
If you find a hedgehog in need of help the Society suggest you use gardening gloves or an old towel to collect the animal, placing it inside a high sided cardboard or plastic box with the towel or an old Tshirt in the bottom for it to hide under. Bring the box indoors away from flies. If the hedgehog isn’t bleeding, offering a warm wrapped hot water bottle is good first aid, but do make sure there is room for it to get off if it gets too warm and ensure the bottle is not allowed to go cold. Offer some meaty cat or dog food and water but don’t force feed it. Once you’ve done that, call a local hedgehog rescue centre if you know of one, or BHPS on 01584 890 801 for further advice and local contacts.
If it’s a baby, Fay says you should always check for siblings: “Hoglets don’t usually come in ones! If a hoglet it is trouble, its brothers and sisters may well need help too, so do look around vicinity for others.” She continues – “Acting quickly could literally mean the difference between life and death, if in doubt, please always call and check as soon as possible.”
For those interested in helping hedgehogs or encouraging them into their gardens, there is a wealth of information on the Society website atwww.britishhedgehogs.org.uk