RSPCA plead for your help after a spike in hedgehog numbers

  • Sophie Wiggins went to the East Winch wildlife centre near King's Lynn to find out more

The RSPCA is pleading for help to care for a large influx of hedgehogs through its doors.

The East Winch Wildlife Centre near King's Lynn is nursing more than 100 hedgehogs and the number is growing by the day.

Most of the hedgehogs receiving care are young orphans and when they arrive they are usually cold, underweight, dehydrated and hungry. 

So far the centre has 117 hedgehogs in their care - but the numbers continue to increase and now centre manger Evangelos Achilleos is asking the people of Norfolk to help.

He said: "We've seen a real influx of hedgehogs and hoglets in our care - and although they are small they can need as much care and attention as our larger patients."

"They need regular feeding and as a result we are asking if the public could donate tins of adult dog food (Pedigree) as well as old newspapers as we get through incredible amounts each week caring for our prickly friends."

"The hedgehogs are being admitted for a whole host of reasons but most are predominantly orphans who are underweight or have been found out during the day - many are very malnourished."

"Nursing them back to health is a lengthy process and very time consuming but it's always worth it when you can return a hedgehog back to the wild where they belong."

A staggering 23,000 hedgehogs have been cared for by staff and volunteers at the East Winch Wildlife Centre since it opened in 1992. 

What to do if you find a sick hedgehog

If you find a sick hedgehog in the daytime the RSPCA advise animal lovers to give it warmth, a hot water bottle wrapped in a towel is ideal and offer it pet food or a scrambled egg straight away and bring them to a rescue centre.  If a hedgehog gets too cold then their chances of recovery are reduced.

At this time of year, young hedgehogs might be seen out during the day if they were born later in the year and are trying to find more food to build up their fat reserves for winter hibernation.

More details on what to do if you find a sick, injured or orphaned hedgehog as well as how to help them in your garden, can be found on the RSPCA's website by clicking here

To report concerns about an animal contact the RSPCA's Hotline on 0300 1234 999.