East Sussex Wildlife Rescue & Ambulance Service (WRAS) were called out at 6pm on Monday 23rd August 2021 to Rayford Court, St Johns Road, Seaford after a resident spotted a hedgehog stuck in a drain running across their car park.
Rescuers Trevor Weeks MBE and Kristy Sayer attended on site in one of WRAS's veterinary ambulances. On scene they found residents trying to break into the drain with little luck.
The drain which was made from concrete blocks which runs horizontally across the car park with a narrow slit along the top to drain water away, was over 100 metres in length. There was no obvious way the hedgehog could get in from the car park and rescuers and residents were baffled by how the hedgehog got inside.
After assessing the situation East Sussex WRAS asking for assistance from East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service as the hedgehog was showing signs of distress and discomfort, unable to turn round in the narrow and shallow gap.
Once they arrived the fire officers were also unsure how to get into the gap easily. They tried various tools to loosen one of the concrete blocks which formed the drain but without any luck. After trying their best not to destroy the concrete block, they were left with no other option but to break the concrete block open using a tool normally used to force open car doors at road accidents.
Fire officers were soon able to pass the juvenile hedgehog to WRAS's Trevor Weeks where the hedgehog was given a check over.
The hedgehog was very dirty and dehydrated and had lost weight too. The hedgehog was taken back to WRAS's Casualty Care Centre at Whitesmith near Lewes where it was checked over and his limbs checked for any damage. Other than bruising the hedgehog seemed fine.
The hedgehog was bedded down and will be monitored for any lasting damage and then rehabilitated back to the wild once more mature and a suitable release site is found close by.
A huge thank you to East Sussex Fire & Rescue for all their help in what rescuers believe to be one of the most unusual rescues of its type. There is no doubt this hedgehog would have died if it had not been rescued.