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Wendy Aitken sets up hedgehog hospital
MEET Sporty the two-week-old baby hedgehog. She’s just the latest in a long line of sick or injured hedgehogs to be nurtured back to health by retired DIY store section manager Wendy Aitken of Osbaldwick .
After taking early retirement through ill health the 52-year-old turned her attentions to setting up something of a hedgehog hospital at her bungalow in Moorlands Close and over the past four-and-a-half years she has earned herself a reputation locally as the “hedgehog lady” rescuing dozens of animals.
Wendy said: “I have always loved animals and because hedgehogs are becoming scacer in the wild these days I want to do anything I can to help keep their numbers up. “The first hedgehog I found was a baby that I found abandoned in my garden. I took it indoors and started to hand rear it as it wouldn’t have survived the winter otherwise. I then had another one and another one, again that I found near my house. Now people bring them to me if they find them injured by the side of the road or if they find abandoned babies, because they know I will take care of them.
“Once they are reared I take them to friends who have land where they can be released first into an enclosure to get used to their surroundings and then they are released back into the wild.”
Since July this year alone Wendy has looked after nine hedgehogs and is currently looking after Sporty, a two-week-old hoglet who was found abandoned and under weight.
Currently Wendy is looking for businesses to sponsor her to enable her to buy a stethoscope and microscope.
She said: “It doesn’t take a lot of money to look after them, it’s mostly food and towels, but I’m looking to get some more serious equipment to help me monitor their health.”
If you can help, phone her on 07429 675800.