A SURPRISE influx of baby hedgehogs and ducklings has left a North Yorkshire wildlife rescue charity struggling for cash.

The warm spell in October appears to have fooled some wildlife mothers into having more babies late in the year.

Selby Wildlife Rehabilitation is caring for 30 hedgehogs, some weighing under 200g. Hedgehogs are in serious decline and they need to weigh at least 650g to survive hibernation.

They will be released next spring, but are currently consuming 70 cans of pet food each week together with dried meal worms and kitten biscuits.

The centre is also caring for out-of-season ducklings found wandering among Christmas shoppers in York, plus a sparrowhawk.

In December, the centre at Low Mill, York Road, Barlby, is usually quiet but manager Annette Pyrah said: “We are busier than ever with many people ringing up after seeing small hedgehogs foraging about in daylight. Nature seems quite confused at the moment with ducks hatching baby ducklings in November and hedgehogs which should be in hibernation still wandering about despite freezing temperatures.”

Annette is appealing for help to support them over winter.

“We have recently installed a stove in the wildlife cabin and we are desperate for logs and coal as we keep the stove going all night. We also need everyday things like disinfectant, plus dog meat for the hungry hogs.”

To offer support to the centre, which takes in creatures from York, Leeds, Selby and beyond, visit selbywildlife.co.uk

Another wildlife charity, Thirsk-based Wildlife Haven Rescue and Rehabilitation Centre, has rescued its 1000th animal this year.

Arthur the Tawny owl was taken after it was hit by a car last Saturday night.

Lauren Langley, founder and director of the centre, said: “Tawny owls are very often victims of road accidents and can suffer from concussion for up to a week afterwards. Arthur is already making a great recovery.”

Arthur has been moved from the intensive care suite into an outdoor aviary, alongside six other owls awaiting release.

The Wildlife Haven also takes all wild animals and is caring for more than 30 hedgehogs, a dozen pigeons, bats, rabbits, squirrels, foxes and a mixture of garden birds.

For more details visit thewildlifehaven.org or facebook.com/thewildlifehaven