Hedgehog put down after being shot at point blank range in King’s Lynn
- Credit: Archant
The creature was brought to East Winch Wildlife Centre after she was found dragging her legs behind her in the South Lynn area.
When she was examined by vets they found a metal pellet was lodged in her spine leaving her back legs paralysed. The animal, which was found on Sunday, has now been put to sleep.
Centre manager Alison Charles said: 'This is just unthinkable. Who would shoot a hedgehog?
'This poor girl must have been in so much pain. When she came in to us she was dragging her hind legs behind her and clearly had no use of them at all. She was in a really bad way.
'Our vet examined her and suspected she had a spinal injury. When he took X-rays he found she actually had an air gun pellet embedded in her spine. We were all so shocked.
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'We think the air gun pellet was shot at close range and it had impacted her vertebrae and severely damaged her spinal cord. Sadly there was nothing our vet could do to save her and she was suffering so much the kindest thing to do was to put her to sleep.'
The RSPCA is currently calling for tighter controls with better education and explanation of the law when buying an air gun and that everyone must receive basic safety training before being allowed to walk out of the shop.
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The penalties faced if caught deliberately using an air gun to injure an animal can be up to six months in prison and a £5,000 fine if found guilty under the Wildlife and Countryside Act.
Anyone with information should call 0300 123 4999.