Gardeners urged to “Think Hedgehog”

WRAS is urging people to "Think Hedgehog" after a hedgehog was impaled on a garden fork. The hedgehog was found in a garden near Northiam, East Sussex whilst landscaping and garden clearance was taking place, and was extremely lucky with his injuries.

The hedgehog was delivered across to East Sussex Wildlife Rescue and Ambulance Service's (WRAS) Casualty Care Centre at Whitesmith (between Hailsham, Lewes and Uckfield) after it was kept in a shed for 2 days by the finder not knowing what to do with it.

"One of the wounds was quite smelly and infected and the second was not so bad, but both clearly quite deep. I was expecting much worse" explained WRAS found Trevor Weeks MBE, "quite often the puncture wounds are central on the body and end up causing horrendous internal injuries and are often fatal. This fork luckily speared either side of the main body cavity avoiding the vital areas, this hedgehog is extremely lucky."

WRAS is urging gardeners to "Think Hedgehog" whilst clearing gardens and to be careful of locations where hedgehogs might be hibernating.

"They will hibernate in all sorts of locations, including under and inside of sheds, in green houses, in papas grass, in compost heaps, in thick vegetation using grass and leaves, we have even found then in piles of rubble, under decking surrounded by plastic bags and litter, and some have been partially buried in soil and leaves under bushes, so be careful when clearing areas, as it will not always be where you expect," said Trevor. "If you do find a hedgehog, place it back and cover it exactly how you found it. They will often then go and find a new place to stay, but if they don't, then seek advice, or if the nest is too badly destroyed or the hedgehog is injured in anyway, call for help straight away".

The hedgehog has been seen by our vet and the wounds cleaned using a warm diluted iodine bath. The hedgehog is now on antibiotics and WRAS hopes he will make a full recovery.

Hedgehogs are still hibernating and depending on the weather will be in and out of hibernation until potentially April time. Any hedgehogs found out during the day time will be in need of help as they are nocturnal animals.

East Sussex WRAS is funded by donations and can only carry out this work with the public's support and help. If you can make a donation to support the charity please call 01825 873003 or post a donation to East Sussex WRAS, PO Box 2148, Seaford, BN25 9DE or donate online.

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Press Contact: Trevor Weeks MBE - East Sussex WRAS: 01825 873003

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