Youths 'kicked and threw stones' at pregnant hedgehog in Hertfordshire

It is thought that a group of youths aged between 12 and 13 kicked and threw stones at this pregnant hedgehog in Shenley

It is thought that a group of youths aged between 12 and 13 kicked and threw stones at this pregnant hedgehog in Shenley - Credit: Hertfordshire Constabulary

A pregnant hedgehog has lost her sight in one eye following an "appalling" attack in Hertfordshire.

According to police, several boys - thought to be aged 12 and 13 - were seen kicking a pregnant hedgehog in Porters Park Drive, Shenley, near Radlett.

Officers are investigating a case of animal cruelty after the hedgehog was partially blinded.

She also suffered a broken leg, fractured jaw and a laceration to her mouth area.

Since the attack, which took place at around 7pm on Monday, June 20, the hedgehog has given birth to three hoglets. One was stillborn.

PC Dan Hill, of Hertfordshire Constabulary, said two passers by saw the youths kicking and throwing stones at the hedgehog.

He said: "Thankfully two passers-by intervened as I doubt this hedgehog would have survived the attack otherwise.

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"After being taken to the rescue centre it was discovered that the animal was pregnant and had suffered a number of serious injuries including the loss of sight in one of her eyes, spinal damage, a broken leg, fractured jaw and a laceration to her jaw.

"She is currently being cared for at the rescue centre.

"Vets found that the hedgehog was microchipped and checks revealed that she was born at a rescue centre last year after her mother was injured.

"They had been released back into the wild in October.

"We are a nation of animal lovers so I’m sure that many of you will be appalled by this incident.

"I would like to reassure the local community that we do take animal cruelty seriously and the Rural Operational Support Team, who specialise in dealing with rural and wildlife crime, will be assisting us with this investigation."

PC Hill added that anybody with CCTV or dashcam footage, or anybody who may have seen anything, should come forward.

He said witnesses can contact police online (https://www.herts.police.uk/), or by phone on 101, quoting 41/50042/22.

Witnesses can also file reports with CrimeStoppers anonymously online (https://crimestoppers-uk.org/) or by phone on 0800 555 111.