Monday, 8 November 2021

Hogging the limelight.


It's been a bit of a prickly week here at GBT. Last Wednesday afternoon we spotted a small hedgehog snuffling about eating bits of leftover birdfood. We were initially unsure what to do, but I understand it's never good to see these nocturnal mammals out in the daylight as it means something is wrong. We're coming up to hibernation season and they need to reach 600g to survive. Hedgehogs are terrors for having another batch of babies in the late autumn then evicting them once they've been weaned. I guess its Nature's way of survival of the fittest and some getting through if we have a mild winter. After a chat to our local vet they said to catch it and bring it in. They would then check it over and pass it onto the local wildlife rescue place they use. 

By chance Wednesday night we had Mythago and I was chatting to one of my dancing friends about our hog as I know she has hedgehog houses and a lovely wildlife garden out in the country near here. What I didn't know was that she's a registered hedgehog carer and a wildlife release site for another local rescue hospital. She's very experienced and said to contact her if it happened again. 

Friday afternoon and Mr GBT rang me to say we had an even smaller baby in our garden. It was only 180g and would never make it without intervention. This time we knew exactly what to do....within half an hour L had got her hedgehog hutch ready and we rolled up with our little spiny charge in a shoe box. I was worried that it might not still be alive, but she peeked in and it was still very much with us. After we left she took it along to her local vet to have a tick removed and since then it's been very lively. As soon as it got back it stuck its nose in its food and has been pretty much stuffing its face ever since. Honestly I'm like a first time parent again, but am pleased to report that it's now sleeping during the day and then waking up for its tea at nighttime. We can but keep our fingers crossed for young Cecil as L's named him [or maybe Cecilia!]

Arilx

PS Since I wrote the post I have learnt that we have a little girl so she's now called Celia. L has checked with the wildlife hospital and because she's too little to keep herself warm she's now been transferred to them to be kept in an incubator for now. She's doing well and L has requested that she have her back again so that she can release her back into the wild next year when she's ready. I have used L's picture with her permission.

 

15 comments:

  1. We adore hedgehogs and despite adapting our fences, installing approved design boxes and improving stuff in our garden for them, the hogs that appeared in our first summer in our house in Havant (2009) dwindled until we had seen none in the last few yesrs up to 2018. We got plenty of other wildlife but no hedgehogs. You lucky devil.

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    1. In all honesty I didn't think we had any either, but we had a hedgehog hole put in the bottom of our new fence last year. It was purely because they had triggered the security light in the summer that we saw them. Arilx

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  2. Well rescued!
    Didn't know that hedgehogs had a second 'flush' autumn time - no wonder you see little hogs pootling around.

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    1. Sadly most don't make it, but if they're out during the day then they need to be taken to a rescue place to give them the best possible chance. The rescues are full of the babies at the moment. Arilx

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    2. Brit speak has introduced me to a number of new words, but pootle is my very favorite.

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  3. Oh my, how sweet. I know nothing about hedgehogs so of course didn't know about babies being left to fend for themselves. I hope wee Celia does well.

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    1. It's the same creature as Mrs Tiggywinkle if you're familiar with the Beatrix Potter books in the USA?
      Arilx

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  4. That's lovely to read. We feed the hedgehogs that come into our garden and they give us so much joy. In the summer I was walking along the road and found a hedgehog that had been horribly injured by a strimmer. I took it to a vet, but when I rang later I was told that she couldn't save it. A harmless creature died because somebody couldn't be bothered to check their long grass before they tidied up. No wonder our planet is in such a state.

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    1. It breaks your heart doesn't it. The flip side is that loads of people are also trying to save the hoglets. At this time of year they can save about 2/3 of those brought in. Left to fend for themselves they wouldn't make it if they're below 600g. Arilx

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  5. How lovely! I hope Cecila continues to thrive. We haven't spotted a hedgehog in the garden for months now, I love them! xxxx

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    1. I hope so too. She is very dinky, but lively. Arilx

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  6. How exciting! I've never seen a hedgehog! Will you be able to attend the release? Can she be released into your own yard? It would be nice to catch glimpses of her as she lives her little hedgehog life.

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    1. If Celia makes it we hope that she can be released into my friend L's garden out in the countryside. She'll be safer there than in the town where we live.
      Arilx

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In the long gallery.

Lanhydrock house in Cornwall is a Jacobean marvel built in the 17th century. Tragedy struck in 1881 when a fire ripped through great swathes...