Over the past 20 years, hedgehog numbers have halved due to the increase of pesticides and cars, loss of habitat and many other factors. In the 1950’s, there were 36 million hedgehogs in the U.K, now we are down to our last half a million. This means that they could potentially be extinct in this country in 15 years, if we do nothing.
Hedgehogs are nocturnal so if you see one out in the daytime, then it could possibly be in trouble. If it is a large hedgehog with nesting material in its mouth, it might be Mum just making a nest, but mostly, a hog out in the daytime needs help. So firstly, wrap it in a towel, place in a high-sided cardboard/plastic box with a ramekin dish of water and a bowl of meaty cat/dog food and finally call us for advice once you have the hedgehog contained. Please do not give the hedgehog bread or cow’s milk as it can be extremely dangerous to them.
Hedgehogs go into hibernation when the weather is very cold although they do wake and forage for food if we have milder spells. In order to survive a cold winter, hedgehogs need to weigh at least 650gms by the late autumn. Any that have not reached this weight will need to be taken in and looked after by a rescue centre until they have gained sufficient fat reserves.
Any donations of the following would be greatly appreciated:
- Purina Sensitive Cat biscuits
- Royal Canin Sensible Cat biscuits
- AVA Puppy biscuits, medium breed (Pets At Home)
- Whiskas Poultry in Jelly
- Washing powder (Ecover)
- Washing-up liquid
If you would like to donate financially, you can click on the donate button just below, or via BACS to South Devon Hedgehog Hospital (sort code 30-90-89 account number 44774260) or please make any cheques payable to South Devon Hedgehog Hospital.