19 Oct 2009

Hog alert: care with bonfires needed

A while back I visited the Brimscombe Hedgehog Hospital and was delighted by the enthusiasm of 'Hog Mother' Annie Parfitt - I've just helped get the press release out below warning about bonfires - but also hear from her that she has been doing several talks recently....Randwick Cubs after hearing her talk raised a huge £100 for the Hospital while Tetbury Scouts all brought a tin of dog food.

Photos: a cartoon from Russ inspired by the Hog Hospital, one of the rescued hogs and two pics from the Hedgehog Hospital display in Stroud Valleys window at the moment

As I've noted before shockingly Hedgehogs are dying out at a rate of about a fifth of the population every four years so we need to do all we can. See here previous release re hospital and underweight hogs.


Annie Parfitt of the Brimscombe Hedgehog Hospital said that hedgehogs were likely to seek out bonfire sites because they were a perfect habitat for taking shelter. She is urging people to look out for any sleeping visitors as too many have been burnt in the past.

Annie Parfitt said: "Hedgehogs are nocturnal and sleep during the day. Bonfires are an ideal place offering protection. They look like a home - or rather they look like a five-star hotel to hedgehogs. But unfortunately when a bonfire is lit, the hedgehog's natural defence mechanism is to curl up in a ball rather than escape the fire. Ideally items to be burnt should be moved to a different site or a few feet away before being lit."

Annie Parfitt added: "If you do find a hedgehog then it should be collected in a box, given cat or dog food and water, and kept in a quiet and dark place until the bonfires are over and have been dampened down."

For more information or if you have concerns about underweight hedgehogs or hedgehogs who may not be hibernating please contact Annie Parfitt on 01453 886424 or annieparfitt (at) sky.com

Hedgehogs tend to hibernate between November and mid March
The Hedgehog is known as 'the gardener's friend'
They like to nest under sheds, hedges and brushwood
Their backs are covered with rows of short prickly spines and their bellies are covered with soft fur
A relaxed hedgehog lays down its spines

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