Hatfield charity calls for help to protect ‘vulnerable’ hedgehogs from extinction
PUBLISHED: 14:24 29 October 2020 | UPDATED: 10:28 30 October 2020
A Hatfield hedgehog charity has said the animal is now on the Mammal Societies Red List of endangered species, which means that it is now officially classified as vulnerable to extinction.
Hattie’s Hedgehogs, run by Sacha Bedford, is dedicated to ensuring that every hedgehog that needs rescue, rehabilitation and releasing or rehoming gets that chance.
To date, Sacha has saved numerous hedgehogs which have been injured by cars or dogs, have fallen into ponds or been caught in football and garden netting, wire fences and other obstacles. Many of them were orphans needing care before being released. However at this time of the year bonfires and leaf clearing are also potential hazards.
Sacha said: “From October, hedgehogs prepare to hibernate and seek somewhere warm and dry to sleep over winter. Compost heaps and piles of leaves all make good, cosy nesting sites, so it is really important if you are planning to have a bonfire to relocate the pile, or else thoroughly check through all the leaves and vegetation first.
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“Also, rather than sweeping up the leaves, why not leave some piles in the corner of your garden. The hedgehogs will thank you, as this will make an ideal home for hibernation over a long cold winter”
Providing a feeding station and fresh water in your garden is another way you can help hedgehogs, particularly now when they need to put on as much weight as possible to survive hibernation.
“The best food for hedgehogs is ‘complete’ cat biscuits with a high meat content, or small sized dog kibble,” explains Sacha. “Wet cat or dog food can also be given but care should be taken that is free from flies. Contrary to popular belief, hedgehogs should not be given milk as they are lactose intolerant, or peanuts, seeds or oats. Also, avoid giving mealworms as these can cause metabolic bone disease which weakens the bones and can be fatal.”
As a member of the One Voice of Animals Hattie’s is being supported by the organisation’s founder States Val Green, who said: “Our organisation was launched in April this year to support small animal rescue centres, such as Hattie’s Hedgehogs, who were struggling due to the COVID crisis. We currently work with over 300 organisations across the UK, supporting them with tools, resources and fundraising, as well as providing a comprehensive directory service to enable the general public to quickly and easily find their local rescue centre.”
To ensure the best chance of survival, all rescued hedgehogs need to be kept warm, as without a constant heat source, injured hedgehogs quickly go into shock and will not eat or drink.
Sacha is also busy fundraising for an incubator. If you wish to help this local charity, donations can be made via Facebook www.facebook.com/hattieshedgehogs or email email@example.com for other payment methods.
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