26 Oct 2010

Helping Hands needed for Autumn Juveniles

It is a really bad year for late second litters. OK if you have lost me I'm talking hedgehogs. They are coming into the Hedgehog Hospital in Brimscombe now as small as 100g- 300g - they don't stand a chance and will certainly die in hibernation. They already have 35 in at the hospital!! As one of the local Hedgehog Wardens I want to say please can everyone look out for little hedgehogs day and night from now on...can't get rid of this underlining - fonts seem to be going crazy in this post....anyway this is from the Hospital...

Autumn juvenile hedgehogs are ones that are old enough to be away from their mothers but too small to hibernate. The autumn juvenile season can start as early as September and is busiest through until the end of November. Young hedgehogs can and will try and hibernate at 450gms (1lb) or less but are unlikely to survive. It is preferable for them to weigh 600gms (22oz) in order to hibernate successfully and be in sufficiently good condition to survive post hibernation.

Hedgehogs are nocturnal so those out in the day need rescuing. Even though in some cases they appear lively and are rushing around these hedgehogs need your help. Once out in the day they can be days away from death. So if out in the day whether rushing about or curled up asleep they need rescuing. Hedgehogs do NOT hibernate in the open. They make a nest of leaves etc and disappear into the depths of the nest and are completely hidden. Hedgehogs under 450gms (1lb) that appear to be hibernating (cold and in a tight ball) are suffering from hypothermia and are in fact dying. These must be rescued if they are to stand any chance of survival. Towards the end of October or if bad weather is expected those under 350gms (12oz) are best be rescued whether they are out day or night.

Please can you be hedgehog aware and help me to put hedgehogs back on the map in Gloucestershire. If you find any hedgehogs out in the day or small hedgehogs out at the end of October day or night use gardening gloves place hedgehog wrapped in a towel into a secure cardboard box and contact Help a Hedgehog Hospital. I will look after them and over winter them to ensure they get through their hibernation successfully and release back into the Wild in the Spring or when they have gained enough weight for a successful hibernation. Thank you all for your help.

Annie Parfitt - a volunteer carer working for the Hedgehog Preservation Society. Founder of Help a Hedgehog Hospital please phone:886424 annieparfitt(at)sky.com www.helpahedgehog.org/

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