What should you do if you see a sick or injured hedgehog?

Credit: RSPCA

An animal charity is providing care guidance if you see sick, injured or orphaned hedgehogs.

It follows as RSPCA braces itself for a busy hedgehog season, as concerned calls from the public spike during the summer period.

Number of incidents in our region in 2020:

A total of 6,200 calls were made to the RSPCA’s national helpline in 2020, 1855 of which were made in July and August alone.

The RSPCA’s Scientific Officer Evie Button said: "We receive more calls about hedgehogs than about almost any other wild mammal."

The top reason given by callers for contacting the animal charity were:

The RSPCA says it receive a lot of calls from concerned members of the public who have seen a baby hedgehog - a hoglet - on its own. Credit: RSPCA

The RSPCA says that if you see a hoglet, check whether they actually need rescuing by watching from a distance.

Ms Button said: "Generally, it's best to leave them alone as they’ll likely be looking for food, but there are a few things you can do to check if the hoglet does need help. If they’re larger than apple-sized (about 300g) and they’re not in immediate danger, sick or injured, monitor from a distance.

"If you're concerned, you can try offering food and fresh water. The best type of food to give hedgehogs is cat or dog food, whether that’s tinned or crushed biscuits - or you can buy good quality specialist hedgehog foods from wildlife food suppliers.

"During the summer months, only intervene straight away if you find a baby hedgehog in immediate danger (such as on a road), a baby hedgehog that weighs less than 300g (about apple-sized) without an adult hedgehog nearby, or if the baby is sick, injured or surrounded by flies.”

Their tips look at ways to help keep hedgehogs safe in the garden - this includes:

  • Removing sports and fruit netting.

  • To cover drains and holes.

  • Check before using a strimmer or mower.

  • Looking in compost heaps before forking over.

  • Avoiding using slug pellets as these are poisonous to hedgehogs.