Rescue group with burning desire to stop further deaths in bonfires

A wildlife group is issuing a warning to those having bonfires at this time of year to take care and help prevent unnecessary hedgehogs deaths.

Last year East Sussex Wildlife Rescue and Ambulance Service (WRAS) were called to a hedgehogs which crawled out from under a lit bonfire suffering from 40% burns to its body. The poor creature was in pain and caused a lot of distress to the children who were watching the bonfire and fire works in Langney.

"Such horrifying scenes don’t happen that often, as the hedgehogs normally die before they get a chance to get out, some will even be hibernating and will die before they realise what is happening" said Rescue Co-ordinator Trevor Weeks, "this burnt hedgehog unfortunately died and the whole event was very tramatic for the household and children and for us as rescuers."

This is not the first time WRAS has had to deal with burnt hedgehogs. One the previous year was treated by Horsebridge vets successfully and eventually released again.

WRAS is urging members of the public to undertake either of these simple tasks to try and avoid any unnecessary hedgehogs deaths.

  • When building a bonfire surround it with a wire fence to stop creature getting inside.
  • Rebuilt/move existing bonfires to ensure no animals are inside.
  • Light one side of the bonfire rather than all the way round to help provide an escape route for any animals which have managed to get inside.
  • Have a some water ready in case any animals are burnt.

"This is simple tasks which do not require much work," said Trevor Weeks," just spending a little bit of extra work can really help prevent any horrific incidents and an upsetting fireworks party.

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Press Contact: Trevor Weeks, East Sussex Wildlife Rescue - 07931 523958 (private).

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