Looking Out For Hedgehogs

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Looking Out For Hedgehogs

Post  John & Hogs on Tue Nov 11, 2008 12:38 pm

Here is an article in the news about looking out for Hedgehogs.

HEDGEHOGS (Erinaceus europaeus) are one of the most easily identified members of UK wildlife.

However, being nocturnal they may be happily living in your garden without you ever being aware of them. They are often referred to as the gardener’s friend, happily munching on beetles, caterpillars, slugs and snails.

With such an effective defensive covering of sharp spines, they have few natural enemies. Foxes, badgers and pet dogs are their only predatory threat. Far greater is the danger from man-made perils such as cars and garden ponds, and occasionally a garden fork.

In these early autumn evenings, we are more likely to see hedgehogs out and about in our gardens as they use every last chance to put on weight before hibernating.

Even with food becoming scarcer, hedgehogs remain strictly nocturnal. A hedgehog out and about during the day is in some form of distress and would benefit from your help.

Wearing gloves, carefully pick up the hedgehog and place it in a box. Contact your vet for advice on where to take it for help and treatment.

This far north, all hedgehogs need to hibernate to survive through the winter, and in order to have enough energy reserves they need to reach at least 450g (1lb) before the end of November. If they fail to reach that weight they are too small to hibernate and have little chance of surviving until spring. Their only real chance would be to be taken into a care centre and looked after until spring.

Hedgehogs always find a safe nest in which to hibernate. They will never choose to sleep in an open or exposed site. If you find a hedgehog sleeping in the open you have found a hedgehog in need of your help.

Over the years, Ardene House vets have housed and cared for many hedgehogs through the winter and released them, happy and healthy, the following spring.

If you find a hedgehog in your garden and you want to offer some food to tempt it with, you should offer a food that is suited to its dietary requirements.

Tinned cat or dog food is far better for hedgehogs than the traditional milk and bread offerings. If you are patient and observe them quietly, your hedgehog may well become a regular visitor.

Anyone finding a hedgehog in need of help can call their vet for advice. Ardene House vets are always willing to help a hedgehog in distress.

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Looking Out For Hedgehogs
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Re: Looking Out For Hedgehogs

Post  Trish on Tue Nov 11, 2008 12:51 pm

Thank you for posting that, it's a good article. Yes

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