TWO incidents of animal cruelty have shocked residents and visitors to North Yorkshire.

An adult female hedgehog died after being stoned by yobs in Selby and a driver is alleged to have mown down geese in the centre of York.

The pregnant hedgehog was found in Crosshills Lane, near Flaxley Road, Selby, walking in circles in the middle of the road, with serious injuries to its head and jaw. It was taken to Selby Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation by concerned residents.

Annette Pyrah from the centre said: “She was in a terrible state.

“Her head and jaw were extremely swollen and misshapen, so much so that it was nigh on impossible to see her eyes. She was covered in tics and severely dehydrated. The hedgehog was pregnant and shortly after admission went into labour and gave birth to two tiny daughters weighing just seven grams. They died within a few hours.”

The local resident who found the hedgehog said a group of boys had been seen throwing large pebbles at its head, in what Annette called “a horrific tale of deliberate human cruelty”.

Annette said she was disgusted by the act, and hoped the boys are punished.

She said: “We are keeping a record of this incident in the hope it does go to court. If what the finder has said is true, then well done boys, not only have you killed mum you have also killed her two baby daughters. The neighbour who confronted the yobs is being urged to go to the police.”

In another incident, a visitor to York contacted The Press on Thursday after seeing a motorist hit some geese and drive away, despite injuring at least one of the birds.

Diana Madine told The Press: “I was waiting at Tower Street roundabout when a gold coloured Citroen Picasso ploughed into ten geese that were crossing the road.

“He left one with a squashed foot and it couldn’t walk, and another dazed. Thanks to the workman that put it on the verge and hopefully was going to phone the RSPCA. I hope the driver is happy that he got home quicker by mowing down innocent creatures but beware people – next time it could be you.”

An RSPCA spokesperson said: “We would like to remind people that hedgehogs are a protected species under the Wildlife and Countryside Act and it is offence to kill, injure or disturb them. If found guilty of these offences people can face maximum penalties of a £5,000 fine and six-months imprisonment.”