Charity caring for 28 hedgehogs with some found in 'poor condition and dehydrated'

The Scottish SPCA's National Wildlife Rescue Centre is currently caring for 28 hedgehogs.

SSPCA appeal after hedgehogs found out during the day in ‘poor condition and dehydrated’ iStock

A wildlife charity has urged the public to help hedgehogs found out during the day in “poor condition and dehydrated”.

The SSPCA said that their centre is currently caring for 28 hedgehogs, some of which were found outside during the day in a poorly condition and dehydrated.

The charity added that others have been uplifted due to being tangled in netting, resulting in wounds and swollen joints, which require treatment.

Jenna Lister, Triage assistant at the wildlife centre has given advice on what to do if a hedgehog looks like it needs help.

Ms Lister said that female hedgehogs may be seen out during the day in the coming weeks to find food and nesting materials.

“Unless the hog is in poor condition or showing signs of sickness, they should be left alone to carry on with these natural behaviours,” she said.

The wildlife expert also urged members of the public to be on the look out for small hoglets, adding that they should not be out of their nests alone.

“At four-weeks-old they will begin to leave the nest with their mother to go on foraging trips but they should not be seen out alone before they are fully independent.

“If they are wandering around, lying lifeless and cold or are making a peeping noise to call for their mother, then they are likely in need of our help.

“Hoglets are fully independent by eight-weeks of age, weighing around 250 grams and look just like a mini hedgehog with their spikes,” she said.

With less suitable habitats available for hedgehogs, Ms Lister gave advice on how the public can make their garden more hedgehog friendly and safe by leaving moss and leaves in the garden.

Water dishes and cat food, not including fish-based food, can be helpful for expecting mothers and juveniles later on in the season.

“Check for signs of hedgehogs before carrying out any work in your garden, to try to prevent disturbing active nests.

“If nests are disturbed accidentally, please ensure there are no injuries to any young and put the nesting materials back. The mother will still return to the nest,” she said.

“Look out for signs of hedgehogs before using any types of netting in your garden, once they feel trapped they will begin to struggle to free themselves, resulting in them becoming tangled deeper within the netting.

“Use an alternative to netting if you possibly can, this could help to save hedgehogs lives.

“If you are concerned for the welfare of a hedgehog please contact our animal helpline on 03000 999 999.”

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