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Residents asked to check for sheltering hedgehogs ahead of Bonfire Night
THIS party of baby hedgehogs, or hoglets, was found in a York garden, leading to warnings to residents to check their gardens and bonfires for disoriented or sheltering animals.
Sue Curtis, of Danebury Drive, said she had encouraged wildlife to her garden, and just spotted the first of the prickly visitors in time.
She said: “I have delighted all spring and summer long at the various species that visit – frogs, toads, newts, bees, various insects, bats, numerous birds and my favourite of all, the hedgehogs. It was one of these little chaps that I nearly squashed on my driveway, in broad daylight, making a beeline for the road – not normal behaviour for a hedgehog.”
Sue, who is landlady of The Plough pub in Fulford, contacted Annette Pyrah at the Selby Wildlife Centre, who arranged for the hedgehog – later named George – to be cared for, but on her return home, realised George was not the only visitor in her garden.
She said: “Within 24 hours I was back with another four – Harry, Isobel, Jimmy and Kieran, all needing medical attention and urgent care.
“Annette welcomed them all and they are now on the mend, they will be given a home with her until the spring when they are fit and strong.”
Sue and Annette have urged residents to dismantle and check prepared bonfires, which may have attracted hedgehogs in the run up to bonfire night.
Annette said: “This year spring was delayed by over a month resulting in hedgehogs giving birth much later in the year than usual. Born in October, these tiny hoglets will now struggle to put on sufficient weight to survive hibernation.
Hedgehogs need to be 650g to see them through long, cold winter and some of the little guys we are now admitting have not yet reached the 200g mark. Left in the wild they would surely perish.
“In order to help halt the decline of these enchanting little animals, we have started an overwintering programme. No hedgehog weighing 500g or less will be returned to the wild until next spring. They will remain with us, either in indoor cages or, dependent upon their weight, in an outside hedgehog house. They will then be released in unrelated trios.”
To find out more, go to selbywildlife.co.uk
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