Found a hedgehog?
Here is our handy tips on what to do if you’ve found a hedgehog that you feel may need a helping hand.
1. If the hedgehog is visibly injured, please take it straight to your local vet or ring Hedgehog Rescue on 07971 663009, leaving details of where you found it. The vet will treat it and contact Hedgehog Rescue when it is ready for rehabilitation.
2. The first thing to do is to watch it for a while to see what it does for a short time. Please do not pick up a healthy-looking hedgehog unless you have concerns.
3. Put a low-sided bowl of water down near it, and some dried or wet cat/dog food (non-fish), to see if it’s just looking for food and water. Please do not give it bread or milk.
4. Generally hedgehogs don’t go out in the daytime, unless it’s really hot and they are looking for water/shelter. Occasionally you will see female hedgehogs out looking for food and nest materials in the daytime. If it’s a juvenile or a mother, have a look around to see if you can find any more of the family.
5. If you are still concerned about the hedgehog, use gardening gloves to pick it up, put it in a high-sided cardboard box (hedgehogs can climb well!), with an old towel or fleece in the bottom for it to hide in and keep warm (or plenty of newspaper if you have nothing else). Offer it fresh water and cat/dog food and put it somewhere quiet and dark.
6. Ring Hedgehog Rescue on 07971 663009 for advice. They will tell you if the hedgehog needs to be taken into care. Please leave a message and/or keep trying if you don’t get through straight away. Don’t forget to leave your contact details so that we can ring you back.
Please do not leave a message on any of our social media pages, as these are checked infrequently and a sick hedgehog needs to be treated immediately
7. If you accidentally uncover a hibernating hedgehog, please do not move it. Cover it over again with a thick layer of dry leaves and leave it to sleep. Put some water and some cat/dog food nearby in case you have woken it up and it comes out of hibernation.
8. In order to survive hibernation, hedgehogs need to weigh 600g+. In Autumn, if you see one that looks small, weigh it, using gardening gloves. If it is under 600g, or if you have any doubt, contact Hedgehog Rescue. Although small hedgehogs will hibernate, they will not have enough fat reserves to see out the winter and will not wake up.
9. Do not feed hedgehogs a diet of mealworms as they cause the extremely painful Metabolic Bone Disease. The occasional mealworm won’t harm if they find them near a bird table, but should not be a main part of their meal.