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What to do if you find a hedgehog in your garden this winter

A Wisbech woman who runs a hedgehog hospital says we need to do more to help any animals we spot in our gardens at this time of year.

Suzanne has released four steps of what to do if you find a hedgehog. Credit: ITV Anglia.

Suzanne Lyons, who runs Suzanne's Hedgehog Rescue, says if they weigh less than 400 grammes they are unlikely to be able to survive the winter unless they are fed and sheltered.

The advice is to give them tinned dog or cat food that isn't fish-based. Don't give them milk - it upsets their stomach!

She has has released four simple steps to follow if you find a hog out in the open during the day.

She says it needs to be taken to a rescue centre as soon as possible.

Any hedgehog out during the day at this time of year is sick and needs immediate attention.

– Suzanne Lyons
  • Place the hedgehog inside a high sided box and bring inside. Hedgehogs are good climbers so can often escape a smaller box
  • Put the box in a warm dry area.
  • Add some warmth to the box, whether it be a small hot water bottle or drinks bottled filled with warm water. Place near the hedgehog.
  • Feed it some mashed up cat food and water, and then call a rescue centre.

Suzanne says that some people are put off by the idea that hedgehogs have fleas. She's keen to stress that the fleas aren't a danger to pets.

Though some hedgehogs have fleas, they are host dependent so will only survive on hedgehogs. They will not infest your home or your pets.

– Suzanne Lyons

It's feared that some people are feeding hedgehogs mealworms, which have no nutritional value at all for the animals, and can leave them with deformities and cause complications when they're taken to the rescue centre.

In the event that you find a Hedgehog out at this time of year, call your local rescue – you can find a list of rescues at the British Hedgehog Preservation Society website. Suzanne says if the hedgehog is injured you should take it directly to your vets - there's no charge for wildlife.