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Hedgehog Alert

Looking after hedgehogs is not as easy as the TV adverts lead us to believe.  Over two days during this warm November we retrieved two very small hedgehogs out foraging in the garden.   We’d heard the current advice that such creatures needed rescue, so we set them up with meat cat food and water in individual leaf-filled hutches in the shed.  Fortunately I took the precaution of checking with hedgehog rescuer Chris McLaren whether this would be OK.  And it wasn’t.

These hedgehogs weighed in at 10oz rather than the 1lb 6oz necessary for over- wintering.  This meant they were a late litter, too small for hibernation and likely to be infested with worms which although easy to treat if caught in time would kill them if not.  The liveliest hedgehogs are the worst infected. Being without a car I rang the RSPCA for a collection and delivery service.  Big mistake.  The driver didn’t arrive till the following evening, and by the time he delivered them to Chris the morning after that, both hedgehogs were suffering from hyperthermia.  One died, the other was treated for a heavy worm infestation, and even Chris was dubious about his chances.

This was a sorry outcome to the best of intentions, but we have learnt our lesson.  Take a taxi if need be, but get those hedgehogs to the rescue centre in time.