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Call for help as west Norfolk RSPCA centre is inundated with hedgehogs

Hedgehog: Picture RSPCA East Winch

Hedgehog: Picture RSPCA East Winch

Archant

A Norfolk wildlife centre has been inundated with so many hedgehogs, it is appealing to members of the public to help feed them.

Many of those at the East Winch wildlife centre are so sick and small they need help to survive the winter. There are more than 200 hedgehogs staying at the “hedgehog hotel” with a total of 857 admitted this year.

Many were found by members of the public in an underweight, dehydrated, hungry and weak state. Two weighed just 92g and 93g, respectively. Hedgehogs need to weigh 600g to be able to hibernate.

Alison Charles, the centre’s manager, said “Although hedgehogs are tiny, they require as much care and attention as larger animals, but when we have this number of prickly patients it takes a lot of time to clean them out, medicate and feed them all.

“It costs £5.50 a week to provide food, accommodation, heat and drugs for a hedgehog.

“All we want to do is make sure we can do our very best for the hedgehogs... and can get them fit and healthy and back out into the wild where they belong.

“Anything people can do to help could make a real difference right now – whether it is a donation to help with their care, tins of pedigree dog food in gravy, or newspapers, small towels or face flannels to give the hedgehogs somewhere to burrow.”

Meanwhile, the first grey seal pup of the season has arrived at 
the centre, after being found orphaned with an injured eye 
under an upturned boat at Morston on the Norfolk coast and weighing 14.5kg.

It has been named Hobgoblin – the theme for grey seal names this year is ales.

If you would like to help care for hedgehogs at East Winch, donations can be sent to the centre.

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