TV show prompts hedgehog rescue surge

Warmer weather and a television programme highlighting the plight of one of England's favourite back garden dwellers has led to an increase in the number of hedgehogs being taken to wildlife rescue centres.

Warmer weather and a television programme highlighting the plight of one of England's favourite back garden dwellers has led to an increase in the number of hedgehogs being taken to wildlife rescue centres.

At Norfolk's RSPCA East Winch Wildlife Centre, near King's Lynn, alone there are more than 120 hedgehogs.

The numbers are still increasing and look likely to reach more than the 144 which came into the centre during the whole of November 2006.

Theories about why there are so many include the warm weather in September and October, which may have resulted in more autumn litters and young hogs which are now not big enough to hibernate.


You may also want to watch:


An RSPCA spokesman said: “Another explanation is that more people are aware of the problem since the BBC's Autumnwatch highlighted the issue.

“The TV programme noted that there may be hedgehogs around at this time of year that are too small to go into hibernation, although during mild weather there are still lots of opportunities for them to find food.”

Most Read

East Winch centre manager Alison Charles said: “Hedgehogs need lots of food in order to gain weight before they can hibernate and will desperate-ly try to find food wherever they can.

“The problem comes when they cannot find enough food, possibly where the ground is cold and hard, and they then become emaciated and dehydrated.”

Hedgehogs weighing less than 500g are most at risk at this time of year.

The wildlife centres feed them on a special diet to help them to bulk up so that they can be safely released to go into hibernation.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter