Friday, 21 June 2013

Friday Night Rescue (21/06/13)

I'd just settled in for the night when I received a call from a lady, (who was all ready to go out on the town), who had just had a neighbour knock on her door. Her neighbour had found a hedgehog tangled in the netting that stretches over the top of our blue recycling bins. Between them they'd managed to cut away most of the netting but couldn't get the last little bit. So were calling for help. I don't normally do house calls but I was concerned to hear that just 10cm or so from her they'd also found a very, very young hoglet. So I jumped into the car and popped around to see them.

Within a couple of minutes we managed to remove the remaining netting from mum. I then gave the hoglet a quick look over (ensuring I did not touch it) and it seemed quite active and well. We then checked mum again and noticed fly eggs in one ear. So between us we managed (with the aid of a few cotton buds) to remove the offending eggs. It became apparent this poor mother hog had been caught in the netting all day and had given birth whilst caught out in the open.

Mum and baby

On occasions like this it is very difficult to decide what the best cause of action is. Are mum and baby brought in, where it's possible mum will become stressed and ignore or even kill her baby? Or is it better to leave in a safe place in the hopes mum isn't too upset and abandons her baby? As both appeared well and the ladies involved were prepared to keep an eye on mum and baby it was decided to leave them where Mother Nature intended them to be, in the wild. So we cobbled together a house, filled with fresh hay and a bowl of food nearby. 

One make-shift house in an out of  the way position

However as we stood talking the mother hedgehog left the house and made a small scrape under a bush and settled down. After seeking advise from Enfield Wildlife Hospital it was decided the best thing to do was bring mum and baby in and keep an eye on them. So I now wait with fingers crossed hoping mum does not ignored her baby overnight. If she does then it looks like I'm in for some late nights feeding. 

To round off this blog I urge everyone who has such netting on their recycle bins to remove it, cut it up into small pieces and put in the waste bin. Finally please spread the word with family and friends and encourage them to get those scissors out. 

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