Today we had planned to go and do a bit of shopping before going for a walk on the moors or the common but our plans were stopped by the discovery of a small hedgehog lying in the open in the middle of our garden.
Being that it is October and it was the middle of the day, we knew it wasn’t right that he was out there, he also wasn’t moving a great deal. Having a small amount of experience of helping animals like this before, we decided to get a shoebox ready to put him in.
To refresh my memory I checked with the British Hedgehog Preservation Society on what to put in the box and what to do next. The kids were really excited by our little discovery and we tried to explain to them why the hedgehog shouldn’t have been out in the open. Given that Tom is particularly interested in nature and animals, he was pretty informed about the idea of hibernation so I think he understood what was going on. Charlotte just knew that the hedgehog was cute and poorly and we wanted to make him better. Once Bob picked up the hedgehog, we noticed that the poor thing had fly eggs in his spines and around his eyes so we decided to call the volunteer numbers and find our nearest member to ask for advice and to see whether we had followed all the right advice. Once we had explained the situation the volunteer said she would take him in and luckily for us, she was based in the next town over.
The kids had become concerned about the hedgehog and whetherhe was going to be ok. We reassured them and when we handed him over to the volunteer, she asked if it would be ok to release him back into our garden in the Spring which got the little ones very excited and reassured them. We decided not to go to Barrow in the end and went for a drive to find where we could go for a walk on Kirkby Moor but as it happened we ended up driving all around and figuring out places for future walks and enjoying the views, so in the end, we went to the park instead.
This is the time of year for finding hedgehogs in a bit of trouble so keep a cardboard box handy and keep your eyes peeled for them in your garden. The volunteer reckoned that the hedgehog we found was only 5 weeks old and weighed approximately 150g. To survive hibernation they need to weigh more like 600g so it’s a good job we found him when we did or he wouldn’t have survived. All in all from finding the hedgehog to contacting the BHPS took about 15 minutes so it doesn’t take much to rescue a hedgehog and with numbers on the decline, it’s more important than ever to help.
If you find a hedgehog and it appears to be in distress follow this advice which you can also find on the BHPS website:
What to do if you have found or are concerned about a hedgehog…
If you have found a hedgehog you are concerned about please use gardening gloves to collect it up, bring it indoors and put it in a high sided cardboard box with an old towel or fleece in the bottom for the hedgehog to hide under.
Fill a hot water bottle so that when it is wrapped in a towel there is a nice gentle heat coming through and put that in the bottom of the box with the hedgehog, ensuring it has room to get off the bottle and making sure the bottle is kept warm (if allowed to go cold it will do more harm than good). Put the box somewhere quiet.
Offer meaty cat or dog food and fresh water then call us as soon as possible on 01584 890 801 for further advice and the numbers of local contacts. Note that out of office hours there is an answerphone, if you have a hedgehog, please press option 1 and listen to the emergency numbers, these volunteers are not representatives of BHPS but they will give you advice and numbers of local contacts.
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