Sunday, 1 November 2009

Hedgehogs in the news

There's not been a lot of hedgehog activity in the garden recently. Visits have dropped right off. Only one bowl of food was even touched last night. I guess most of them have begun their hibernation. On the upside, I'm glad to report that I have found no more autumn juveniles.

However, I have found several hedgehog stories in the news this past week or so:

Guards hired to protect hedgehogs

30 October 2009

Security guards armed with torches and chicken wire are keeping 24-hour watch to stop hedgehogs hiding in a bonfire at one of the country's largest fireworks displays.

The initiative at the Three Counties Showground in Malvern, Worcestershire, is part of a campaign to raise awareness of the danger bonfires pose to hedgehogs.

The British Hedgehog Preservation Society (BHPS) has teamed up with cleaning company Spontex, whose mascot is Ernie Hedgehog, to promote the campaign.

Clifford Soper, from Spontex, is one of the guards hired to keep watch.

"A bonfire looks like a five-star hotel to a hedgehog searching for the perfect place to hibernate," he said.

"Most people don't think about checking a bonfire, or better still rebuilding it, before lighting which can result in the death of all sorts of unsuspecting wildlife asleep inside.

"The Three Counties bonfire has followed BHPS advice and encircled its bonfire with one-metre high chicken wire."

The Halloween bonfire and fireworks display will take place at the showground on Saturday night.

Drunk hedgehog rescued in Devon

Friday, October 30 2009, 15:28 GMT
By Mayer Nissim, Entertainment Reporter

A hedgehog has been treated in an animal hospital after getting drunk on fermenting apples in an orchard.

The creature was discovered lying on its back and squealing last Wednesday and was helped by local wildlife rescue expert Ann McCormack at The Prickly Ball Hedgehog Hospital in South Devon, the North Devon Journal reports.

McCormack said: "They had placed it in a guinea pig cage and it kept going round in circles. The hedgehog kept falling over and was on its back with its legs up in the air for most of the time.

"It was legless. This is definitely the first drunk hedgehog I have found. The next morning I came in and turned the light on and she squealed really loudly. She obviously still had a big headache."

The hedgehog, nicknamed Tipsy, will be fed up to a healthy weight of 600g before being released back into the wild in the spring.

Spare a thought for a Stroud hedgehog

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Help a Hedgehog Hospital founder Annie Parfitt wants people to keep a look out for prickly creatures confused by global warming.

Annie, whose rescue centre is in Brimscombe, says milder winters and pesticide use mean hedgehogs are on the decline.

She says those that remain are getting confused about hibernation times.

At this time of year a hedgehog seen out in the day needs rescuing and taking to the hospital.

Mother hedgehogs are also having second litters late in the year due to the mild weather and the babies are unlikely to survive winter.

Annie, 41, says hedgehogs are being attacked by badgers and are vanishing from the landscape in certain areas.

She said: "They also climb into people's dustbin bags to shelter and get thrown away with the rubbish.

"Of course, at this time of year they hide in bonfire woodpiles made for Guy Fawkes' Night."

Annie has been fascinated by hedgehogs since childhood and, on turning 40, she decided to set up her hospital and do something positive to help support dwindling numbers in the Stroud area.

Annie works under the umbrella organisation the British Hedgehog Preservation Society. She can be contacted on 07867 974 525 or
And finally:

Hedgehog triplets born in five-star luxury

Staff at Edinburgh's Prestonfield left stunned by delivery in hotel reception.

21 October 2009 14:42 PM

A choosy mother chose a five-star maternity suite in one of Edinburgh's plushest hotels - even though she was giving birth to hedgehog triplets.

Guests at the Prestonfield were stunned when the critter walked into the hotel's reception and settled on the carpet.

However, they were even more surprised when she gave birth to three spiky babies before taking a snooze behind a basket of logs beside the hotel's open fire.

Staff from the SSPCA rushed to the five-star venue to care for the creatures.

Now, the seven-week-old hoglets are said to be doing well and are living with their mum at a rescue centre in Fife.

Centre Manager Colin Seddon said: "This was a very unusual place for the hedgehog to choose to have her babies.

"She was obviously confused and knowing that she was about to give birth, decided to find the nearest warm and sheltered place, which just happened to be a very plush hotel.

"We were worried when she came in because it is not uncommon for a mother hedgehog to eat her young if she is disturbed or feels threatened, so we were obviously very keen to avoid that happening.

"Initially, we kept the family warm and dry and provided them with food and water, but we left them in almost complete isolation to minimise the risk of cannibalism.

"Thankfully this approach has proved successful and all three hoglets are now seven weeks old and ready to be released back to the wild with their mother."

James Thomson, proprietor of the Prestonfield Hotel, admitted staff had been surprised by the delivery, but said: "The wellbeing of all our visitors to Prestonfield is of the utmost importance to us and so we are all really thrilled to hear that both mother and all three hoglets are healthy and are now ready to be released back home.

"We are just glad that they checked in and enjoyed a little five-star luxury along the way."

1 comment:

  1. Isn't it lovely to know there are so many people out there wanting to do their bit to help hogs.
    I especially love the last story.
    My hedgehog hotel is in situ just waiting for a visitor now.