Hedgehogs die after suspected poisoning

Hedgehogs being cared for by rescuer Tracy Jenkins. Photo: Tracy Jenkins

Hedgehogs being cared for by rescuer Tracy Jenkins. Photo: Tracy Jenkins - Credit: Tracy Jenkins

A Norfolk woman who cared for a family of hedgehogs in her garden for the last 10 years said she has been left heartbroken after almost half have died from suspected poisoning.

Hedgehogs being cared for by rescuer Tracy Jenkins. Photo: Tracy Jenkins

Hedgehogs being cared for by rescuer Tracy Jenkins. Photo: Tracy Jenkins - Credit: Tracy Jenkins

Claire Frost, from Tasburgh, a village outside of Norwich, is calling for more awareness to protect the endangered species and stop the “irresponsible” use of pesticides.

Around three weeks ago, Ms Frost discovered her first hedgehog which had fallen ill and later died on the way to the vets.

Since then she has lost two more and a local rescuer was forced to collect the remaining hedgehog family while they work out what has been causing their sudden deaths.

Ms Frost said: “We noticed we had a lot of rats around during the pandemic, which we have been told is happening all over.

Hedgehogs being cared for by rescuer Tracy Jenkins. Photo: Tracy Jenkins

Hedgehogs being cared for by rescuer Tracy Jenkins. Photo: Tracy Jenkins - Credit: Tracy Jenkins


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“And about three weeks ago we found our first hedgehog which had fallen extremely ill.

“In 10 years, we haven’t had one die and every four of five days after that we would find another. Then my husband found one foaming at the mouth.

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“I contacted a rescuer in Long Stratton to say I thought something was amiss, and she thought it was best to catch the remaining hedgehogs and get them out of the area.

“We think it may be rat poison or slug pellets, which makes sense because everyone is at home doing their gardens.

Calls for more awareness to save Norfolk's hedgehog population. Photo: Claire Frost

Calls for more awareness to save Norfolk's hedgehog population. Photo: Claire Frost - Credit: Claire Frost

“It’s not safe for them which breaks my heart and after 10 years of feeding them and watching the numbers grow, we have lost the lot.

MORE: ‘I had 42 hedgehogs in my utility room’ - calls for more support for hedgehog rescuers in NorfolkMs Frost got in touch with hedgehog rescuer, Tracy Jenkins, from Long Stratton, who cares for poorly or injured hedgehogs at her home and suspects someone locally has been using pesticides.

Now they hope more people are made aware of the dangers it can pose for natural wildlife.

Ms Jenkins said: “This costs me thousands of pounds a year and who knows how many hours to send them out and then they are poisoned through carelessness.

Tracy Jenkins is a hedgehog rescuer from Long Stratton. Photo: Tracy Jenkins

Tracy Jenkins is a hedgehog rescuer from Long Stratton. Photo: Tracy Jenkins - Credit: Tracy Jenkins

“When hedgehogs are gone they are gone, they face so many dangers this is another one they could do without. It’s really sad people just need to think about what they are doing.”

But the hedgehog rescuer says the biggest threat to the species right now is dehydration, lawn mowers and grass strimmers and Ms Jenkins has urged families to look out for these little creatures in their gardens.

MORE: ‘Cold, wobbly and hungry’ - Why Norfolk’s ‘Hedgehog Hotel’ is full

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