I have had quite a special day today…. one which I feel could be the start of another project in the WildlifeKate patch!
Anyone who follows me will know that I have two hedgehog feeding stations in the garden and I live stream images from these every night. I get hedgehog visitors just about every night, with four on cam at one point. I have had a very regular visitor for the last month or so… a hedgehog that has appeared at around half ten every night. It is difficult to see clearly on an IR camera, but this little chap did not look the healthiest of individuals. His eyes were not as clear and bright as some of the other visitors and he had a very distinct limp. He did not appear to be using one of his hind legs. It is always difficult to know when to interfere with nature. This hedgehog was only appearing after dark (a hedgehog appearing in the day is usually in trouble!) and he always had a very healthy appetite. However, the leg did not appear to be improving, so last night, when he appeared on the camera, I nipped out and picked him up. He was not happy and grunted and huffed at me as I put him in the cat basket I had prepared. There was a bed of hay and moss and food and water in there. I did not attempt to examine him as I did not want to stress him further. I placed him in my porch and left him.
This morning, I rang the West Midland Hedgehog Rescue and spoke to Joan… a wonderful lady, who runs this from her home about half an hour away from me. I drove over with ‘hop- along’ in the basket and received a warm welcome… Joan even recognised me from Springwatch! Check out her website HERE
It was not long before Joan and I were chatting and taking a look at my hedgehog. As soon as he uncurled, it was clear that this little chap was covered in mites and fleas. The mites had caused his face and eyes to become quite crusted, hence his appearance on the cameras. Apart from that he was not in bad condition. Joan felt that he was actually quite a mature male and tried to take a look at his leg. He would not let her hold it and curled up tightly each time she tried. Joan was sure it was not broken, but recommended that she take him to her vet for an x-ray.
Treating him with a lice powder and injecting him to kill any internal and external parasites, Joan took him out to her ‘Hosprickle’… a purpose-built shed that houses all her hutches.
Joan explained all about the tireless work she does caring for injured and abandoned hedgehogs all over this area. Her ‘Hosprickle’ was just about full! She even had even had three tiny babies bought in this morning. They were gorgeous! I have never seen any this small.
She also introduced me to one of her favourites… a particularly friendly little female just a few months old…