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'Cold, wobbly and hungry' - Why Norfolk's 'Hedgehog Hotel' is full

PUBLISHED: 10:25 15 November 2019 | UPDATED: 10:33 15 November 2019

A hedgehog at the East Winch hedgehog hotel. Picture RSPCA East Winch

A hedgehog at the East Winch hedgehog hotel. Picture RSPCA East Winch

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A Norfolk-based "hedgehog hotel" ran by the RSPCA is currently full as temperatures drop across the county.

Hedgehog food being mixed by the bowl full. Picture: Chris BishopHedgehog food being mixed by the bowl full. Picture: Chris Bishop

The animal care charity announced on November 15 that its East Winch Wildlife Centre near King's Lynn is currently caring for more than 200 hedgehogs, with 80 animals admitted on one day of the year.

So far the hedgehog hotel has cared for almost 900 animals in total this year, and says the number of patients is on the rise.

The RSPCA said that most receiving care were a second litter of hoglets, and that when they arrive they are usually cold, underweight, wobbly, dehydrated, and hungry.

Most of the animals at the centre are brought in by caring members of the public, and the RSPCA is urging people to keep an eye out for hedgehogs in distress.

A poorly hedgehog at the East Winch RSPCA Centre. Picture: Ian BurtA poorly hedgehog at the East Winch RSPCA Centre. Picture: Ian Burt

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The charity advised the public that if they see a hedgehog they should give it warmth, such as a hot water bottle wrapped in a towel and offer it pet food or a scrambled egg straight away, before bringing it to the centre.

If a hedgehog gets too cold then its chances of recovery reduce.

On arrival at the centre, hedgehogs will be checked and weighed, before being given warmth, food, antibiotics and fluids if dehydrated.

A hedgehog at the RSPCA's East Winch Wildlife Centre. Picture: Chris BishopA hedgehog at the RSPCA's East Winch Wildlife Centre. Picture: Chris Bishop

Sue Levings, centre administrator, said: "Last year we cared for nearly 4,500 patients of which 892 were hedgehogs and this year we are already at the same number - they are our number one admission. Around 23,000 hedgehogs have been cared for by us at the centre since 1992, which is a staggering amount.

"Although the hedgehogs are tiny, they need as much care and attention as larger animals in the centre.

"We want to make sure we do the very best for the hedgehogs that come into our care and get them fit and healthy enough to return back to the wild where they belong - we like to return them to where they were rescued and the members of the public are usually delighted to have their prickly friends back. We are always grateful to the public who show so much care and kindness to our wildlife."

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