Saturday, 13 December 2014

Albus And Battle With The Netting

On the 26th November I received a call from a gentleman who had discovered a hedgehog badly tangled in some netting (the third such call this year). He'd carefully cut away what he could but didn't know if there was any around the hedgehog's legs. I advised him to drop off at the A120 Medivets where our fab vet, Helen and her team would work their wonders.

The hog was taken in, named Albus and weighed. At just 485 grams he was extremely underweight for his size. We can only assume he'd been there for some time. He was then gassed down, so they could uncurl him. What they found was heart breaking. A couple of his feet were swollen to double the size and the netting had cut deeply into his skin. They carefully removed the netting and tended his wounds.

I picked Albus up and started to care for him. He began to heal however a week later he was still unable to fully retract one of his front legs when he curled up, it was still too swollen. However he had gained 166 grams and had almost lost his waistline (unlike us hedgehogs shouldn't have a waistline).

On the 9th December I dropped Albus off at the A120 vets for a check up. We were all relieved the deep wounds were healing and there was no infection. After a little clean I picked him up with the instructions to drop him of three days later on the 12th, which I did. I also dropped off my camera, so one of the nurses could take some photographs for me.

Now I don't normally include 'nasty' images in our blog posts. However I wanted to show you how much damage netting, elastic bands, hair bands and the like can do to our wildlife. Now remember these wounds are two weeks old.  

Wound in right armpit and around leg two weeks after netting was removed.

Wound in left armpit two weeks after netting removed
Having seen these it would be great if you could help us reduce the number of casualties caused by netting by taking the following action:
  • Remove netting from your garden where you can
  • If unable to remove then make it safe by lifting off the ground or at least check every morning to ensure a hedgehog isn't caught
  • Pick up elastic bands etc. whilst you're out, take home, cut up and place in the bin
  • Share this blog post far and wide so others can take action and also spread the word
Believe it or not Albus is extremely lucky. Of the three hogs I've dealt with who were entangled in netting he is the only one to have survived. Sadly we don't know if we can ever return him to the wild, he may be left disabled. Although he is now large enough to hibernate we plan to keep him to the spring and we'll make a decision then.