Freezing temperatures means longer stay for residents at Norfolk’s hedgehog hotel
- Credit: ANDREW FORSYTH/RSPCA
Freezing overnight temperatures have led to hundreds of hedgehogs having a longer stay at the RSPCA's hedgehog hotel at East Winch.
There needs to be a window of at least four days of the thermometer reaching temperatures above 4C before hedgehogs can check out of the hotel at the East Winch Wildlife Centre. The last time this was possible was on December 16.
Currently more than 200 hedgehogs are staying at the centre and in 2016 a total of 952 hedgehogs were admitted.
Many of the animals were found outside during the day by members of the public in an underweight, hungry, dehydrated and weak state.
Alison Charles, centre manager of East Winch Wildlife Centre said: 'When we have this number of prickly patients in the centre they require as much care and attention as larger animals as it takes a lot of time to clean them out and feed them all.
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'All we want to do is make sure that we can do our very best for the hedgehogs that come into our care, and ensure we can get them fit and healthy and back out into the wild where they belong.
'We have 97 hedgehogs ready for release and we'll be calling finders as soon as we see an improvement in the weather - unfortunately that doesn't look like anytime soon.
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'We return hedgehogs back to the area they were found via the member of public who brought them into the centre so we hope the public of West Norfolk will help us in getting these hedgehogs home.'
East Winch Wildlife Centre is open for the admission of all wildlife casualties from members of the public from 8am to 10pm every day - all year round.
Ms Charles added: 'After these have been released we will still have over 100 hedgehogs in our care so we would appreciate any help - whether it is a donation to help with their care, tins of pedigree dog food in gravy, newspapers, or small towels and face flannels to give the hedgehogs somewhere to burrow.'
• For more information on wild hedgehogs, visit the 'Hedgehogs in the garden' page on the RSPCA website.